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Zesty Pork & Portobella Lettuce Wraps

September 25, 2010

Zesty Pork & Portobella Wraps

Hey there! We’re certainly wrapping up the summer here at Saucy & Bossy. However, the world doesn’t seem to agree. I’m in a t-shirt and shorts, and I’m HOT! It’s over 80 degrees out. What gives?

Enough whining about the weather; I’m sure in a month I’ll be too cold. I really just wanted to mention that we’re sliding into fall in our house, and I have all kinds of fun stuff on the docket for this week. Today’s recipe, however, was from some of the fresh ingredients we picked up at the aforementioned Russo’s trip. These are our take on the lettuce wrap, which, after a little research, I realized actually have some basis in reality instead of just being an American invention. I also realized that these are officially called 生菜包 in Chinese, or “Sung Choy Bao” in Cantonese, and here I was thinking they were Thai. I guess you learn something new every day. Our version uses some ground pork, chopped up portobella mushroom caps, and a Thai-inspired mix of flavors and heat. I think it’s safe to back off on the chiles for this one, though I can’t say that something may seem “missing” if you leave them entirely out. A few shakes of crushed red pepper would do wonders if you can’t get any Thai chiles. Please enjoy!

Zesty Pork & Portobella Lettuce Wraps (Serves 4)

  • vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork (or beef, or turkey, or chicken, but add a little more oil if chicken)
  • 3-4 portobella caps, or 15-20 crimini mushrooms, chopped finely
  • 3 scallions, whites minced, greens sliced thinly, separated
  • 1/2 bunch Thai basil, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 dry Thai chiles, crushed
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 head Bibb (Boston) lettuce, at least 8 leaves removed carefully (should have no holes)
  • kosher salt
  1. Combine garlic, ginger, chiles, scallion whites, in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine herbs and scallion greens in large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, and honey in yet another small bowl. Guess what? Set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is starting to smoke, add garlic mixture and cook (pan away from your face), stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds, without letting garlic burn.
  5. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently for about 7-10 minutes until the mushrooms drastically reduce in size and any liquid released is cooked down. Add the pork and cook, breaking up clumps with your spatula, until cooked through. Add more oil if needed to keep things moving.
  6. Add the liquid mixture and stir to combine thoroughly, and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to the large bowl with the herbs and scallion greens. Stir constantly to combine the mixture and wilt the herbs.
  7. Take about 1/3 cup of the mixture and spoon it into the center of each lettuce leaf, and roll it up like a burrito. Eat immediately!
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