I love Thai food and larb is one of my favorite Thai salads. I had a pork loin to use up and was inspired to make pork larb lettuce wraps. I also just recently picked up a meat grinder attachment that I wanted to try, so there may have been an ulterior motive in picking up the pork loin.
So, while I took the pupper out for a quick walk, I had the Hubby dig up a recipe for me. He chose pork larb lettuce wraps from Food&Wine, due to the numerous and positive reviews.
It was quick to make and tasted delicious. I had just over 3/4 pound of ground meat, so I had to up the ingredient amounts just a tad. I drowned my pork in the dipping sauce and lends every bite that amazing umami flavor.
Pork Larb Lettuce Wraps
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 3/4 pound ground pork or beef
- Salt and Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce (yes, it's 2 tbsp + 1 tsp)
- 1 tablespoon long-grain rice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1-3 Thai chiles (minced with seeds)
- Boston lettuce leaves
- 1/4 small red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/4 cup Thai basil leaves (torn)
- 1 teaspoon dried mint leaves (or 1/4 cup fresh torn mint)
- In a small skillet, toast the rice over moderate heat, shaking the pan often, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the rice to a plate and let cool completely. Once cooled, put in a spice grinder and grind to a powder.
- In a small bowl, combine the lime juice with 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of sugar (upon taste), the minced chili, and 1 tablespoon of water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- In a medium sized skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring a few times, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and cook for about 20 seconds. Add the ground pork and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat finely, until no pink remains, about 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of the fish sauce and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the onion, basil, mint, cilantro and extra chili if desired. Sprinkle the pork with the rice powder and stir to mix. Transfer to a bowl and place on or near the platter with the lettuce leaves.
- Let everyone spoon the pork onto the lettuce leaves and season with the dipping sauce.