Thai Ground Pork Salad

I had been sitting on this Thai Ground Pork Salad recipe for a year before I actually got around to trying it.  Part of my holding off was due to Blake’s dislike for lettuce wraps.  But I finally convinced myself to go for it, knowing he couldn’t possibly leave the table with two pounds of pork sitting there.

Knowing our evening was going to be a bit hectic, I prepared this dish earlier in the day, while Blake was still at work.  And I couldn’t resist having a mid-afternoon pork salad snack.  Although I couldn’t leave it alone, I was still left to wonder how my husband would rate it.

That evening, I warmed it up and made my presentation, with a lofty pile of lettuce leaves.

I was thrown off a bit by just how much Blake really did like this salad.  He especially liked to tuck a few fresh jalapeno slices into each wrap, saying that those bites of heat brought out all the other flavors and textures perfectly.

He even went so far as to say it was the best new recipe I had made in the past two months.

Wow!

Considering some of the new dishes we’ve tried and really liked lately, this Thai Ground Pork Salad sitting at the top of the heap really says something.

Like, “Make me again, real soon!”

Thai Ground Pork Salad

Yield: 4 to 6 meal size portions, or more for appetizers

Ingredients:


  • 2 lbs. ground pork

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 small shallots, minced

  • 2 large jalapeno peppers – 1 seeded and minced, the other sliced for garnish

  • 2 limes – 1 juiced, the other cut into wedges for serving

  • 2 T. Asian fish sauce

  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar

  • 1 tsp. Sriracha (chile sauce), plus more for serving

  • 1 T. vegetable oil

  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro

  • 1/2 c. chopped mint

  • 1/2 c. chopped basil

  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 1 c. chopped salted peanuts

  • 1 large head Boston or other leafy lettuce, separated into leaves


Directions:

In a bowl, mix the pork, garlic, shallots and minced jalapeno (I didn’t add the minced jalapeno for our kids). In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and the Sriracha.


In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the pork mixture and cook over medium-high heat, stirring to break up the meat, until no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl and stir in the herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the peanuts and sliced jalapenos. Serve with lime wedges, Sriracha, and lettuce for wrapping.


Food & Wine, December 2009


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