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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps

This recipe was recommended to me by two friends who said that I should try them and I am glad that I did (within 24 hours of their suggestion). Its a really nice and HEALTHY appetizer or meal. Full of flavor and very easy. Next time I might play around and add some water chestnuts or bamboo shoots or something else to add crunch. THIS IS FANTASTIC. Recipe from Cook's Illustrated, September 2009.

-1 pork tenderloin (~1 lb.) fat trimmed
-2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
-1 tablespoon white rice
-1/4 cup chicken broth
-3 tablespoons lime juice
-2 teaspoons sugar
-1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
-1 large shallot, sliced thin
-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
-3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
-Small lettuce (bib or mini red-leaf)

Cut the pork into 1-inch pieces and place on a plate in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the rice in a small pan on medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it turns a deep golden brown color. Pour rice in a small bowl and let cool 5 minutes. Grind rice with a spice grinder/mini food processor/mortal and pestle until it looks like powder. Set aside.

Once the pork has chilled, add half of it to the food processor and pulse 5 times for 1 second each time. Remove the pork and place into a medium bowl. Do the same thing with the rest of the pork. Add 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce to the pork and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, chop the shallots, cilantro and mint. Mix together the lime juice, sugar, and red pepper flakes and set aside. 

Once the pork has marinated for 15 minutes remove it from the refrigerator. On medium-high heat bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a 12-inch skillet. Add the pork and cook stirring frequently until about halfway cooked. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the rice powder and continue stirring until cooked all the way through (about 3-5 minutes total). Pour pork into a large bowl. Add the shallots, cilantro, mint, lime juice, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. 

Serve over whole pieces of lettuce. 

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