A great way to bring excitement in the dining area and impress everyone with your culinary skills is by serving something that is inspired by a dish popular elsewhere. Below you can find a very simple larb-inspired lettuce cups recipe. The moment you serve a platter of this treat reminiscent of that national dish of Laos, you can expect “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” to fill the room.
For the filling:
1 lb ground pork
1 tablespoon of ginger, crushed
1 tablespoon of garlic, crushed
2 whole radishes, diced
2 green onions, diced
1/2 large cucumber, diced
For the dressing:
1 piece Thai chili, sliced
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
Zest and juice of a medium-sized lime
For the assembly:
2 whole hearts of romaine lettuce
Place a large skillet on the stove and pour oil in it. Brown your ground pork using medium heat. Constantly stir to ensure even cooking. After about 5 minutes or when much of the fat have been rendered, throw in your salt and crushed ginger and garlic. Cook everything for another 10 minutes until the pork is brown. Transfer to a large bowl and allow it to cool.
While waiting for your cooked ground pork to cool, it’s time to prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, simply combine everything — sliced Thai chili, brown sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil, and the line zest and juice. If you don’t want the final product to be that hot, simply remove the seeds of your Thai chili after slicing and just before adding into the dressing.
It’s ideal to let the ground pork to cool very well so that it won’t cause the romaine lettuce to wilt as well as to keep the diced veggies crunchy. Once your ground pork is cool enough, mix into it your sliced radishes, cucumber and green onions. Add the dressing too and stir.
On a large platter, arrange the leaves of your romaine lettuce with the outer sides facing downward. Place a few tablespoons of the filling, just enough so that your family and friends may be able to eat the treat with their hands without causing a mess. Serve and watch everyone’s eyes sparkle!