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Spicy Pork Lettuce Wraps

These lettuce wraps are one of my favourite things to eat - I love the spicy-sweet-sour flavour profile, the crispy meat filling and fresh lettuce leaves.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Malaysian
Servings: 6
Author: Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 2 " piece ginger minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red chile thai bird chile, or substitute 1/2 a serrano
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves or zest of 1 lime
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp minced cilantro
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • salt to taste

For sauce:

  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup sambal oelek

To serve:

  • 2 heads iceberg lettuce leaves separated
  • 1 carrot grated
  • mint leaves
  • cilantro leaves
  • bean sprouts not pictured
  • lime wedges


  • Heat oil in a heavy skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes, then add ginger, garlic, chile and lime leaves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Stir in pork and beef, and cook, breaking meat up into small bits with spoon and stirring occasionally, until cooked through.
  • Add brown sugar and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until meat is browned and crispy, about 10 minutes more. Stir in lime juice, herbs and fish sauce. Add salt to taste.
  • Stir together sweet chili and sambal oelek. Transfer meat to a bowl and allow guests to build their own lettuce wraps, with lettuce leaves, shredded carrots, herbs and sauce.