Asian Pork Salad in a white bowl on a bamboo mat with chopsticks next to the bowl (with logo overlay)

Asian Pork Salad

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.

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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.

Asian Pork Salad Step by Step


  • 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 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.

Young boy using a flat spatula to stir chopped carrots in a large skillet over a gas stovetop
Large skillet with diced carrots and olive oil cooking over a gas stovetop

Add the pork and ginger. Cook until the pork is broken up and cooked all the way through. This usually takes about 10 minutes.

Large skillet with browned ground pork and diced carrots cooking over a gas stovetop

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.

Large skillet with ground pork, carrots, and water chestnuts cooking over a gas stovetop

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 in a white bowl on a bamboo mat with chopsticks over the bowl (vertical)


Originally Published On: February 24, 2018

Last Updated On: August 1, 2023

Asian Pork Salad in a white bowl on a bamboo mat with chopsticks next to the bowl

Asian Pork Salad

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.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Main Dish
soy sauce
Servings: 4 servings
5 from 11 votes


  • 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
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Nutrition Facts
Asian Pork Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 461 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 913mg38%
Potassium 715mg20%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 6020IU120%
Vitamin C 7.2mg9%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.

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56 thoughts on “Asian Pork Salad”

  1. 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!

    1. 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.

  2. 5 stars
    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!

  3. 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.

  4. 5 stars
    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 =)

    1. 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.

  5. 5 stars
    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!

  6. 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?

    1. 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.

  7. 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! 🙂

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 5 stars
    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

  11. 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!!

  12. 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.

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