Monday, 6 February 2012

Vietnamese Pork Lettuce Wraps

Thank goodness, I am in the home straight of this dieting business... Most of January has been spent hungry, tired and fixated on food. The silver lining is that I have discovered some amazing recipes in my obsessive state. My main saviour has been chilli, if I add enough of it to any dish, I don't seem to feel quite so hungry.

The real challenge has been to avoid too many carbohydrates, and as I love bread (and especially sandwiches) more than any other food, I have taken to wrapping everything I can find in lettuce instead. 

To serve, spoon some of this morish, strongly spiced pork into buttery lettuce leaf then dip in the salty sauce. It may not be a truly authentic dish but it certainly pilfers the flavours of Vietnam to brilliant effect and produces a dish that feels far from frugal.

This would make a good starter or canape with its strong gutsy flavours and quick preparation, or for a slightly more filling main course, add some rice noodles tossed with sesame oil.

Vietnamese Style Pork & Lettuce Wrap

Dipping Sauce
6tbsp fish sauce
2tbsp lime juice
1tbsp sugar
1 hot red chilli, thinly sliced

500g stir-fry pork
2 cloves garlic
1tbsp fish sauce
1tsp lime juice
1tsp sugar
zest of 1 lime
1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger
1 hot red chilli, thinly sliced
2tbsp vegetable oil

1 butter lettuce to serve
For the dipping sauce:
Whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside
For the pork:
Combine everything except for the oil together in a bowl and marinate for a couple of hours or, if you have time, overnight.
Add the vegetable oil to a wok and heat until it begins to smoke.
Stir fry the pork in the wok for 3-4 minutes until cooked through and starting to brown.
Remove from the heat and serve with the lettuce and dipping sauce

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