Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps

It's no secret that I love Thai food.  This recipe is similar to the lettuce wraps that you can order at PF Chang's, but is a Thai version instead of Chinese.  They're slightly different, but still delicious.  It makes enough to serve six adults as an appetizer, or a family of six as a main course if four of them are under the age of 7.  My kids love these!  They're a little spicy, a little sweet, and little tangy, all wrapped up in a crispy lettuce leaf.  Delicious!

A note on the chili peppers--they're potent!  Take extreme caution when cutting them, and don't touch your face until after you've scrubbed your hands with soap and water.

Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps

1 T minced garlic
2 Thai chilies, seeded and finely chopped (it doesn't matter if they're red or green)
1 Tbs ground coriander*
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger root, or 1 tsp ground dried ginger
3 Tbs canola or vegetable oil
1 Tbs hot water
1 lb lean ground pork
Zest of 1 lime, and 1 T of lime juice
2 Tbs fish sauce
1 tsp soft light brown sugar
2 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh cilantro*
Crisp iceberg lettuce leaves, to serve

In a food processor or blender place the garlic, chilies, coriander, ginger, oil, and water.  Process until smooth.  Transfer to a wok or large non-stick skillet.  Heat and stir the mixture over medium heat for 4 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high and add the ground pork.  Stir-fry for 3 minutes, or until most of the pink is gone.  Add lime zest and juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and cilantro. Continue to cook until the pork is cooked through and is mostly dry.
Serve in lettuce cups.  Garnish with cilantro leaves if desired.
Serves 6 as an appetizer.

*Did you know that cilantro and coriander are the same plant?  Cilantro is the leaves and stems and coriander is the seeds and roots.  In many countries, they're all just called coriander.

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