Thai Pork Lettuce Cups


Ground pork seasoned with ginger, lemongrass, onions, and chile, and served with lettuce leaf wrappers is an easy-to-make starter course. Not all fish sauce is created equal, so if you have access to an Asian market, look for Three Crabs brand, which has a very light, fresh taste. Serve the pork mixture warm or at room temperature.


1 1/4 pounds ground pork (preferably 95% lean)
3 scallions (white and green parts, thinly sliced and minced)
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons finely minced yellow onion
2 stalks lemongrass (soft inner cores only, finely minced)
1 teaspoon red chile flakes (ground (or pulverized in a mortar))
2 tablespoons fesh sauce (preferably Three Crabs brand)
2 tablespoons fresh mint (cut into thin ribbons)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 head organic butter or iceberg lettuce (separated into whole leaves)
3 tablespoons chopped salted peanuts (as optional garnish)


Place the pork in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, and cook over medium heat until the pork is cooked through (no oil is needed). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the scallions, ginger, onion, lemongrass, chile, and fish sauce. Let the mixture cool until it's warm but no longer hot. Stir in the mint and lime juice.

To serve, arrange a single layer of lettuce leaves on a platter. Top each leaf with about 1/4 cup of the pork mixture. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.


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