Sunday, May 8, 2011

Asian Pork Lettuce Cups : Dining with Donal

Last Thursday, Donal Skehan decided to join the Cookalong campaign (pioneered by the Irish Foodies) & had a Kitchen Hero Online Dinner Party.  I was working all day, so only managed two of the three courses... which prompted much gentle abuse on Twitter from Mr. Skehan about my poor time management and prioritization - the cheeky brat!

The first course was Asian Pork Lettuce Cups - spicy aromatic pork mince served in crunchy Little Gem lettuce leaves.  It's a lovely take on one of my favourite Chinese dishes, Yuk Sung which myself & Little Sis would fight to the death over (no social skills at all...).  The key to the recipe is preparation - get all of your ingredients ready & waiting for the pan and it will take 10 minutes to cook from start to finish.  I made far more than the quantities in Donal's recipe which meant that we had fabulous leftovers last night for Saturday night supper - I added in a handful of chopped spring onions while it was reheating, to freshen the taste.

The Hubs wants me to tell you all that this was absolutely gorgeous & he wants me to make it on at least a weekly basis...

Asian Pork Lettuce Cups

1 tbsp Sunflower or Rapeseed Oil
250g lean Pork Mince
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Red Chili, deseeded & finely chopped
1 tbsp Fish Sauce (Nam Pla)
1 tbsp dark Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Caster Sugar
5 Spring Onions, finely chopped
8 Mint Leaves, shredded
Juice of 1 Lime
2 Baby Gem Lettuces, separated into leaves
Sweet Chili Sauce

Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a high heat, add the mince & cook until tender, breaking up any lumps or clumps - you want it to be crumbly.

Now add the garlic & chili and fry for another minute.

Time to add the fish sauce, soy sauce & sugar - this is what gives the pork a lovely dark colour - so fry for another minute or two until the mince darkens.  Finally, add the lime juice and half each of the mint & spring onions (keep the rest to sprinkle on top when you serve), and fry for a minute.

Transfer the pork to a pretty bowl & allow to cool until it's warm.  Now it's time to eat...

Put a large tablespoon of the pork into a lettuce leaf, sprinkle some of the spring onion & mint on the top & drizzle with some of the Sweet Chili Sauce.

Eat.  Repeat.


  1. I would like to try this. The ground pork served with spices and lettuces makes a great appetizer.

  2. Can you adapt this for Vegans?

  3. Thank you. But I'm allergic to lettuce. Could I use rice instead?