Vietnamese Pork Lettuce Wraps with Ginger Lime Dressing

Pork and Lettuce Wraps

Living in a multi-cultural city with significant pockets of new immigrants that come from all over the globe means there is no shortage of ethnic restaurants, cafes, and grocery stores within easy reach. Walk a mile out my front door and you can be sitting down to a meal from Nepal, El Salvador, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Japan, or Sardinia. And while I’ve enjoyed dipping my fork into all of these cuisines, nothing has quite gotten under my skin like the food and flavors of Vietnam. Whenever the call for “take-out” rings through the hallways of our house, usually on a lazy Friday night, Vietnamese is almost always my order of choice. The lightness and fresh, bright flavors are hard to resist.

These Vietnamese Pork Lettuce Wraps  bring together what I love about Vietnamese cooking, done for the home kitchen. You start by making a gingery marinade for the pork that doubles as a dressing for the salad. The tenderloin, a particularly lean cut, cooks up quickly and very tender. Chicken or flank steak would work equally well here.

Once cooked and sliced, set out the pork along with all of your other “fixings” (cucumber spears, shredded carrots, mung bean sprouts, peanuts, and fresh cilantro). Generous lettuce leaves serve as a taco shell of sorts. Vietnamese Pork Tacos with Ginger Lime DressingMake more of everything than you need and turn it into a delicious chopped salad for your (or the kids) lunch the next day. It’s just the sort of DIY dinner that kids love with all the Vietnamese flavors adults (at least this one) are crazy about.

5 from 3 votes
Print

Vietnamese Pork Lettuce Wrap with Ginger Lime Dressing

These lettuce wraps bring together what I love about Vietnamese cooking, done for the home kitchen. You start by making a gingery marinade for the pork that doubles as a dressing for the salad. The tenderloin, a particularly lean cut, cooks up quickly and very tender. Chicken or flank steak would work equally well here.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author katiemorford

Ingredients

Marinade/Dressing

  • 1/2 cup lime juice (4 to 5 limes)
  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce or other favorite hot sauce (more if you like it spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

Pork and Wrap Fixings

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 English cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch-thick spears
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts
  • 1/3 bunch fresh cilantro (chopped or in sprigs)
  • Leaves from 1 large head butter lettuce or 1 head Romaine lettuce

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the Marinade/Dressing ingredients. Pour half the marinade into a resealable plastic bag, add the the pork tenderloin, seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least an hour or as long as overnight. Reserve the remaining Marinade /Dressing for serving.
  2. Remove the pork from the refrigerator a half hour before you are ready to cook.
  3. Cook the pork over a medium-high grill, in a lightly greased heavy skillet over medium-high heat, or under a broiler until the center of the meat is pale pink and registers 150 degrees with an instant-read thermometer. This will take 20 to 25 minutes. 

  4. Remove from heat and rest for 10 minutes.
  5. While the meat cooks, arrange the bean sprouts, carrots, cucumbers, peanuts, cilantro, and lettuce leaves on a serving platter.
  6. Once the meat is cooked and rested, cut it lengthwise down the center and then crosswise into thin slices. Set out the pork with the rest of the wrap fixings, with the remaining dressing on the side.
  7. To assemble, use a lettuce leaf as a taco shell and layer on the pork, sprouts, carrots, cucumbers, peanuts, and cilantro. Spoon a little dressing over the top and dive in.

 

Comments

10.16.2013 at 2:01 PM #

cristin biundo

HI Katie, I follow your website religiously and I’m always trying your new recipes for my husband and kids. I’m hoping you can help me. I have a very close girl friend who is recovering from Ovarian Cancer stage 3. She just had full hysterectomy and starts chemotherapy in 2 weeks. Doctor is very confident, he got ALL the cancer and she will be cancer free once she gets the chemo. She is the healthiest person I know. She doesn’t eat wheat, dairy and red meat and hasn’t for at least 10 years. She stopped all refined sugars 5 years ago and only eats natural sugar(fruit only). Luckily, her eating and exercising is the reason why she is here today. Doctor needs her to gain weight which is a difficult because her stomach has shrunk from being in hospital for 2 weeks during recovery. Now when she eats, she struggles with not being able to eat very much because she gets full too quick and physically gets ill. Do you have any healthy fat recipes that I could take to her for lunch, dinner or even dessert? I know this is a difficult task, but ANY ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks for your time and having such a great website, Cristin

10.16.2013 at 2:01 PM #

katiemorford

Hi Cristin

What a story. I think hand made food is one of the best gifts you can give and your friend is lucky to have you being so thoughtful about her health.

First off, you might ask her what kinds of foods are appealing to her these days. What is appetizing? Cancer treatment can affect taste buds, and certainly appetite. What may work best for her is 6 small, calorically dense meals spaced throughout the day rather than trying to eat three traditional meals.

Off the top of my head, I think the Coconut Curry Soup might be a good recipe to bring because it’s portable. Be sure to use full fat coconut milk (not “light”). The soup is very nourishing and comforting. Here is the link: http://www.momskitchenhandbook.com/dinner/a-soup-for-lentil-red-lentil-coconut-curry-soup/
Quinoa Tabouleh might be a good lunch or dinner option that will keep for several days. You could boost the amount of olive oil in the recipe and add in toasted walnuts or other nuts for more protein and healthy fat.
http://www.momskitchenhandbook.com/uncategorized/you-never-do-know-colorful-quinoa-tabouleh/

You could make her a trail mix to snack on in order to boost between-meal calories with her favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and dark chocolate.

You could make any of my “tex mex” or Mexican recipes and accompany it with guacamole, which is a high-calorie and healthy fat.

If you are interested, this is a very well-regarded cookbook that might be useful for your friend in her recovery:

http://rebeccakatz.com/books/the-cancer-fighting-kitchen/

Best to luck to you in this endeavor and improved health for your friend.

Katie

10.17.2013 at 3:30 PM #

Aida Mollenkamp

Katie – I agree with you about Vietnamese food — the flavors are so fresh and fabulous.

04.26.2014 at 9:55 AM #

Latanya

Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your content seem
to be running off the screen in Chrome. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue
or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let
you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the problem
resolved soon. Kudos

05.01.2017 at 8:01 PM #

Kristen O'Loughlin Daniel

This was so easy and extremely well-received by the family.

05.01.2017 at 8:01 PM #

katiemorford

Oh good. I haven’t made that one in a while, but now I think I need to!

03.02.2018 at 3:21 PM #

Mary Giles

Katie, we had friends over last night and made the lettuce wraps. It was a huge hit with both the kids and parents! I added shredded coconut to the wrap fixins and served up a couple side dishes: brown rice with lentils and edamame; roasted cauliflower; and garlic string beans. So nutritious, plant-rich, and yummy! Thanks for this weeknight rescue!

03.02.2018 at 3:21 PM #

katiemorford

Hi Mary,

I love getting comments like yours. So glad to be a little part of a successful gathering. All those sides sound perfect.

x

Katie

Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *