Mar 2, 2017

Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps with Coconut Fried Rice

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Fragrant coconut rice is served in cups of butter lettuce and topped with seasoned and slightly spicy ground pork, and juicy diced mango.

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This recipe is basically a twist on a combination of pork larb, a Laotian ground meat dish, and mango sticky rice. Fragrant coconut rice is served in cups of butter lettuce and topped with seasoned and slightly spicy ground pork, and juicy diced mango.

The mix of fresh Thai flavors go well all bundled up together into these butter lettuce wraps. These can easily be served as an appetizer or an entrée.

Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps with Coconut Fried Rice

thai pork lettuce wraps with coconut fried rice and mango

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Ginger – To easily peel ginger, use the tip of a spoon to carefully peel away the skin.
  • Coconut milk – Coconut comes from the creamy liquid inside mature coconuts. Cooking the rice in a bit of coconut milk in addition to water makes for a mildly coconut-flavored side.
  • Ground pork – Ground pork typically comes from minced pork shoulder meat and is incredibly versatile. It can be swapped for another lean ground meat like turkey or chicken in this recipe.
  • Thai Bird’s Eye chili – Bird’s eye chilies or Thai chilies are small, pointy chili peppers that pack a punch. They add an intense heat with fruity flavor to dishes rating between 50,000 and 100,000 Scoville units. They can sometimes be difficult to find so I usually buy a large bag of them at my local Asian market. I store them in the freezer in a resealable plastic bag. It’s actually easier to cut them when they are frozen.
  • Soy sauce – I recommend using low-sodium soy sauce in this recipe so you have better control over the salt.
thai pork lettuce wraps with coconut fried rice closeup

How to Make Pork Lettuce Wraps

For the coconut fried rice:

  • Cook the rice. Heat a medium saucepan over high heat, add the rice, 1 cup of water and coconut milk and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and fluff the mixture with a fork.
  • Sauté garlic and ginger. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Add the ginger, garlic and the whites of the scallions and sauté until the garlic and ginger are fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Combine. Add the coconut and stir to combine, letting the mixture cook an additional minute. Add the rice tossing so the mixture combines evenly then stir in the remaining green onions, cilantro and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt.

To make the Thai pork:

  1. Sauté aromatics. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the canola oil and heat through. Add the garlic, ginger and Thai chili and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Cook the pork. Add the pork and sauté until browned, about 6 minutes. Season with salt then transfer the browned pork to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  3. Make the sauce. In a small bowl stir together the fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and lime juice until combined and the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add the sauce and herbs to the pork. Stir the sauce into the pork mixture then add the cilantro, basil and mint and stir to combine.

For serving:

  1. Assemble and serve. Scoop rice into lettuce leaves and top with a spoonful of pork. Top with mango and serve immediately.
thai pork lettuce wraps with coconut fried rice platter

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

Swaps and Additions
  • For added heat drizzle the lettuce wraps with red pepper flakes, sriracha or sambal.
  • While this recipe calls for ground pork you can swap it with another ground meat like lean ground chicken or turkey.
Best Lettuce for Lettuce Wraps

You can use another kind of lettuce though I personally love the texture of butter lettuce, specifically Bibb lettuce leaves best. Green leaf lettuce, iceberg, or even trimmed romaine will also work.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy these Thai pork lettuce wraps, I recommend checking out some of these recipes:

Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps with Coconut Fried Rice

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the coconut fried rice:

  • 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
  • ¼ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt, to taste

For the thai pork:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger
  • 1 medium Thai birds eye chili, minced
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 packed teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped mint

For serving:

  • 1 large head butter lettuce, leaves separated
  • ½ cup diced mango

Instructions:

For the coconut fried rice:

  • Heat a medium saucepan over high heat, add the rice, 1 cup of water and coconut milk and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and fluff the mixture with a fork.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Add the ginger, garlic and the whites of the scallions and sauté until the garlic and ginger are fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the coconut and stir to combine, letting the mixture cook an additional minute. Add the rice tossing so the mixture combines evenly then stir in the remaining green onions, cilantro and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt.

For the Thai pork:

  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the canola oil and heat through. Add the garlic, ginger and Thai chili and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the pork and sauté until browned, about 6 minutes. Season with salt then transfer the browned pork to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  • In a small mixing bowl stir together the fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and lime juice until combined and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Stir the sauce into the pork mixture then add the cilantro, basil and mint and stir to combine.

For serving:

  • Scoop rice into lettuce leaves and top with a spoonful of pork. Top with mango and serve immediately.

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