Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps with Coconut Fried Rice

This recipe is basically a twist on a combination of pork larb, a Laotian ground meat dish, and mango sticky rice. Fragrant coconut rice is served in cups of butter lettuce and topped with seasoned and slightly spicy ground pork, and juicy diced mango. The mix of fresh Thai flavors go well all bundled up together into these butter lettuce wraps. These can easily be served as an appetizer or an entrée.

 

Ingredients:

For the coconut fried rice:

1 cup uncooked jasmine rice

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 green onions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated

¼ cup unsweetened flaked coconut

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Kosher salt, to taste

 

For the thai pork:

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger

1 medium Thai chili minced

1 pound ground pork

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 (packed) teaspoon dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon chopped basil

1 teaspoon chopped mint

 

For serving:

1 large head butter lettuce, leaves separated

½ cup diced mango

 

Instructions:

For the coconut fried rice:

Heat a medium saucepot over high heat, add the rice, 1 cup of water and coconut milk and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and fluff the mixture with a fork.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Add the ginger, garlic and the whites of the scallions and sauté until the garlic and ginger are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the coconut and stir to combine, letting the mixture cook an additional minute. Add the rice tossing so the mixture combines evenly then stir in the remaining green onions, cilantro and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt.

 

For the Thai pork:

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the canola oil and heat through. Add the garlic, ginger and Thai chili and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pork and sauté until browned, about 6 minutes. Season with salt then transfer the browned pork to a bowl with a slotted spoon. In a small mixing bowl stir together the fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and lime juice until combined and the sugar has dissolved. Stir the sauce into the pork mixture then add the cilantro, basil and mint and stir to combine.

 

For serving:

Scoop rice into lettuce leaves and top with a spoonful of pork. Top with mango and serve immediately.

 

Serves 4.

 

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