It’s been a while since I posted a recipe that was inspired by my favorite cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food. We have been using her recipe for Asian Lettuce Wraps for at least a year now but changing it up to suit our tastes (and skills).
The original recipe suggests making the pork mixture, then using large pieces of lettuce as a wrap. We tried that. It didn’t work out well at all. The first time we bought lettuce that was big enough, but it just kept falling apart on us as we were trying to hold it, not to mention all the juices dripping out. Needless to say, it was a mess. But we loved the flavor.
We tried again. And failed. Again. I put the recipe away for a little while as a lost cause until one day, when Justin was searching through the book for a good recipe when we were doing our weekly meal planning, he suggested we try it again. This time, we bought lettuce with the intent of making it into a salad rather than as a wrap, and it worked so much better.
Ever since then, we haven’t even tried to do this as a wrap but always make it into a salad. It’s a bit easier for us, we don’t have to try to buy lettuce that will work specifically as a wrap, and it is nowhere near as messy. But, if you want to try it as a wrap, there’s nothing wrong with that! Just make the pork mixture the same way, but instead of adding it to a bowl with the lettuce, put the meat in the piece of lettuce.
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the carrots. I like to use an electric food chopper (like the one linked below) to chop the carrots up, so they are small, but stop before they become carrot mush. I find this works best if you use baby carrots to start with. Cook the carrots for a few minutes until they are soft but don’t let them start to brown.
Add the pork and ginger, cooking until the pork is broken up and cooked all the way through. This usually takes about 10 minutes. Then add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and water chestnuts (which are missing from my photo because we forgot to get some from the store). Heat the mixture until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 3-5 minutes, and stir everything together well.
Remove the pan from the heat and fold in the cilantro. Line your serving bowls with chopped lettuce and spoon the pork mixture on top. I like to use a slotted spoon, so you don’t get too much of the liquid in the bowl. Serve warm and enjoy!
Asian Pork Salad
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup carrots (minced)
- 1 tbsp ginger (minced)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 cup water chestnuts (drained)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp cilantro
- 1 head lettuce (chopped)
- In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat
- Add the carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened
- Add the ginger and ground pork, stirring for about 10 minutes until the pork is broken up and cooked through
- Add the water chestnuts, soy sauce, and sesame oil
- Cook for about 3-5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring to coat the meat
- Remove the pan from the heat and fold in the cilantro
- Line serving bowls with lettuce, then use a slotted spoon to scoop the meat mixture into the bowls