Cooking Together: Sesame Pork Lettuce Wraps

September 5, 2009

Awesome Stepkid R loves lettuce wraps. I usually make them several times a month when he’s around, and if I forget, he’s quick to remind me that he’s missing them.

I like requests. Dinnertime is so much more stress-free and enjoyable when you’re cooking for an appreciative audience. And a hungry 16 year old boy is definitely an appreciative audience. He’s growing so fast that my old [much hated] Elementary School Nickname of “Flamingo Legs” isn’t too far from becoming his truth. Poor dude.

I usually use chicken for lettuce wraps but pork tenderloin was on sale this week, so we gave it a spin.

Sesame Pork Lettuce Wraps
serves 3-4

1 pound pork tenderloin
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon chopped bottled ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot asian pepper sauce
1/2 tablespoon Mirin, japanese wine
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil (preferably toasted, if you can find it)

Hot cooked short grain rice
Butter or red leaf lettuce (allow about 4 leaves per person… WAY more if you have hungry teen [aka: Garbage Disposal] in house)
Bean Sprouts
Mint Leaves
Chopped roasted peanuts or sesame seeds
Lime wedges

Freeze the pork tenderloin until somewhat frozen. It took ours about an hour. Combine next 9 ingredients; add to a large ziploc bag. Remove pork from freezer; slice crosswise very thinly (slices should be about 1/4 inch thick). Seal and marinate pork at least 2 hours. I let mine sit in that salt bath about 5 hours. It’s forgiving that way.

Now a purist would probably grill these pork slices. That’s the traditional way. Just throw them on a medium high grill for 1-2 minutes a side. However, it looked like rain outside, and I actually like the way the sauce coats and caramelizes the pork if you cook the pork directly in the marinade, so this is what I did. Heat a heavy skillet or wok, brush with a bit of oil, throw the pork and the marinade in the pan and saute quickly until the pork is just cooked and the sauce coats the slices.

In each lettuce leaf, pile a few strips of pork, rice, bean sprouts, mint and nuts/seeds. Give it a healthy squirt of lime juice, roll up and eat!

**In our house, we also add an extra squirt of Sriracha and some thinly sliced jalapenos. You can also substitute shredded carrot for the bean sprouts, or add them anyways, like we do, because more veg is always good.

We liked the pork in the wraps–in fact, my husband couldn’t stop eating the meat. Next time, I’ll double the recipe because we could have tucked into another entire order of that meat.

You know, because we can be pigs…eating pig…wait, that ain’t right, is it?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

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