Do you want an easy, kid friendly meal? Good. Here it is. I found the original recipe in Cook’s Illustrated, which painstakingly tests recipes to improve them. The first time I made it I only had ground turkey, so I skipped a couple of the steps and augmented one of them to fit my tastes. They are outstanding. I served the lettuce wraps with coconut rice, black beans and steamed green beans.
Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps
1 pork tenderloin (about 1lb) trimmed of silver skin and fat, cut into 1″ chunks
2 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp white rice
1/4 cup low-sodium broth
2 medium shallots peeled and sliced into rings to use raw or minced to cook
3 Tbsp juice from two limes
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp red peper flakes (optional for kiddos)
3 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
3 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 head Bibb lettuce, washed and dried, leaves separated and left whole
- Place pork chunks on a large plate in single layer. Freeze meat until firming starting to harden around the edges but still pliable, 15-20 minutes.
- Place half of the meat in food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, 5 to 6 1-second pulses. Transfer ground meat to a medium bowl and repeat with remaining chunks. (Alternately, place 1 lb ground turkey into the bowl) Stir in 1 Tbsp fish sauce into ground meat and marinate, refrigerated, 15 minutes.
- Heat rice in small skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring constantly, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Grind rice with spice grinder or mini food processor, or mortar and pestle until it resembles fine meal. You’ll have about 1 Tbsp rice powder
- Bring broth to simmer in 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook, stirring frequently until about half of pork is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle 1 tsp rice powder over pork; continue to cook, stirring constantly, until remaining pork is no longer pink, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes longer. Transfer pork to large bowl, let cool. 10 minutes.
- Add remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce, remaining 2 tsp rice powder, shallots, lime juice, sugar, red pepper flakes, mint, and cilantro to pork; toss to combine. Serve with lettuce leaves.