Ground pork cooked in a ginger and sesame oil sauce over a bowl of lettuce makes a great quick weeknight meal for the whole family: Asian Pork Salad.Jump to Recipe
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). Since it’s different, we call it Asian Pork Salad.
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 to make a wrap. They 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. Then 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 pork 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. 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.
Step by Step
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the carrots. I like to use an electric food chopper 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 or at least cut them into pieces. Cook the carrots for a few minutes until they are soft but don’t let them start to brown.
Add the pork and ginger. Cook 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. Heat the mixture until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 3-5 minutes. 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!
Originally Published On: February 24, 2018
Last Updated On: August 13, 2019
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
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.
56 thoughts on “Asian Pork Salad”
While I don’t eat pork, my husband does – so he would LOVE this recipe! That being said, I could easily sub in another meat and go to flavor-town with this baby!
Yes, you could definitely use another meat with it, as long as it’s ground up like the pork it should work.
Aawwww I love seeing the little ones in the kitchen 🙂
They love helping and learning. It’s an essential skill so may as well start them early.
That photo of your son is priceless! 😀 Salad looks very delicious!
Thank you! My boys love helping in the kitchen.
Asian Pork salad sounds and looks really good right now. Good for lunch or dinner.
We tend to make it for dinner and have the leftovers for lunch the next day! It works perfectly for both 🙂
This will make for a perfect dinner, not too light not too heavy. It looks really delicious, I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks.
Yes, it’s definitely a good in-between meal in that way.
This looks like an easy yet healthy meal choice!
Yes, the meal is both easy and healthy with a few veggies mixed in there.
I’ve never had much luck with lettuce as a wrap so I always end up trying it into a salad. I don’t think I’ve ever actively added water chestnuts to a recipe so I will have to try it!
I don’t know why, but it never works for me either. I see others do it, but can’t get it to work myself. The water chestnuts don’t have a lot of flavor, but they add a crunch that I really like in this meal.
I love light Asian salads and what I like most about them, is how rich in protein they are! I have tasted a similar dish in Lao called larb and it reminds me a lot of your recipe! Nice one!
That’s true, I hadn’t thought of that before. There is a lot of protein and veggies in this one.
I wish I did not tell the girls I would make tacos today as I would rather make that delicious Asian pork salad. I have everything to make, which means that will be my dinner tomorrow.
I hate when that happens! My son has had a taco obsession lately, so we’ve had them a lot even when I want other meals, too.
I love pork is one of my favorite meats to cook with so versatile and yummy. I need to try your salad looks like a great combination with the asian ingredients and flavors Nice to see you are training your kid in cooking =)
Pork is one meat I used to not cook with a lot, but I have been learning lately how many ways you can cook it. My boys love helping in the kitchen, I figure it’s essential life skills and we have fun together.
This reminds me so much of samgyeopsal! a korean dish that features lettuce as the wrap + beef much like this one and it’s so good! This just reminded me to make some again as it’s been years since I’ve had it! Looks so light but so filling!
That does sound similar, except I used pork for this instead of beef. But I think either one would work really well.
I love this recipe but I stopped eating pork a while back after watching a video on pig breeding. Would this recipe work with something else? What would you recommend?
You could try ground beef, it’s a similar texture but a different flavor. Or almost any type of ground meat would cook similarly. If you are looking for a meatless option, I’m not sure what you could sub in for the pork.
I love that you have your little helper making this tasty Asian pork salad. Looks great and easy… I’ll give it a try tomorrow ; )
The boys are constantly in the kitchen helping me with meals. They enjoy it, are learning life skills, and we are making memories together!
Yum! This looks so amazing. I love that your little guy helps you cook too!!
Both of my boys enjoy cooking with me. They’ve learned a lot already and we’ve had fun together!
This looks really good. It reminds me of the chicken wraps that I did. Love that your little guy is helping you out and learning to cook.
We chose pork for this, but I could see chicken working well, too. He was so excited to help at the stovetop for the first time!
I always drool over recipes like this, but then I can never find them when I’m planning out what to cook. Thanks for posting your version, which I can easily find and I am sure will be as yummy as every other recipe of yours I’ve tried! 🙂
I do the same, I have a bookmarks folder that I save recipes we want to try or want to make something similar for that reason.
I stopped eating pork, however, my husband eats pork so he would love to try this recipe! I really like all the ways we can prepare pork. Also, love that your little kid helps you cooking! He’s adorable
I haven’t tried it personally, but you could probably sub in ground chicken for the ground pork if you wanted. And yes, my boys love helping in the kitchen when they can 🙂
This looks yummy! I’ve made this with turkey meat. Never added the chestnuts though. This is a quick and simple meal that is perfect for a weeknight. The chopsticks get me everytime. That takes time to perfect.
I like the water chestnuts for a bit of crunch to the meal. I’m not the greatest with chopsticks either, but I still try sometimes!
It’s great for kids to help around the house, especially in the kitchen. This recipe looks easy and delicious. I will probably do it without chestnuts as I don’t have any.
My boys love helping in the kitchen, and it’s great life lessons for them. I like the water chestnuts for the crunch but I’ve made it without before and it still tastes great.
It looks very yummy. although I am vegan my sister could definitely benefit from this recipe.
Yeah this would be a hard one to make into a vegan recipe, but thank you for sharing it!
I would love to try to cook it, I love Asian food and this one looks so delicious.
Give it a try sometime, it’s a great Asian recipe but still very filling.
I love love love this! When we go out to eat at korean restaurants I love wrapping pork belly or beef bulgogi in lettuce and dipping it in their special soy sauce! so yummy and flavorful
This would be a bit similar. We can’t ever get it to wrap properly so eat it as a salad, but you could try it as a wrap, too!
Yum, this looks so delicious! I love that it is quick & easy to make and I know my kids will enjoy it!!
We are all about quick and easy meals here! Since school started last week, we need them for crazy school nights.
This looks great. I so rarely cook with pork. I always forget what great ways you can use it!
I would often forget about pork, too, but have been using it more lately and find it almost as versatile as chicken.
Looks like a tasty lunch dish for this weekend. And yes, you have to have the right untensils/cooking gear for any recipe or it just goes off a little!!
It’s amazing how much having the right equipment can make such a difference in the outcome of a recipe.
I love cooking with sesame oil so I can almost taste the flavors of this dish. Adding water chestnuts to a dish is always a plus for me.
We don’t use sesame oil too often, but it definitely has a distinct flavor.
I am not a fan of the pork but my husband loves it! I am sure he would love to try this out. AN easy and delicious recipe. Thanks for sharing
If you like chicken or beef, you could try subbing one of those in. I haven’t tried it, but I think ground chicken especially would work well in this recipe.
My husband and I love pork. This looks like a delicious and healthy recipe. We see definitely going to try it out.
Awesome, I hope you guys enjoy it! We’ve had this one many times at our house. And the leftovers reheat well, too!