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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.


Original recipe from Food & Wine.