These Golden Pork Lettuce Wraps are simple, speedy and insanely delicious! Made with garlic, stir fried pork mince and a few basic spices. Bold, fresh flavors wrapped in cool, crisp lettuce cups in no time!
Inspiration for these spicy pork lettuce wraps comes from the cookbook Persiana Everyday by Sabrina Ghayour. As far as cookbooks go, this is an easy one to recommend!
Fresh ingredients and great flavors come together to make this simple, delicious recipe you can whip up in no time!
Easy Pork Lettuce Wraps
The recipe I share is mostly the same as the Golden Pork Stir-Fry recipe in the book. The only change is an addition of ground coriander to add a citrusy flavor to brighten up the earthy turmeric and spicy chili flakes.
Funnily enough, the cookbook author said the pork stir fry was inspired by her favorite Thai dish, Pad Krapow Moo (also known as Thai Beef Basil). Personally I found it quite similar to the Fried Bangladeshi Noodles recipe I found in The Curry Guy Easy cookbook.
You’ll just need to try them all out and see what you think for yourself!
Pork Lettuce Wraps Ingredients & Steps
Total process breaks down easily into a few main steps:
- Sauté garlic then add pork and spices.
- Sauté in oil in a large skillet for about 30-60 seconds over a medium heat.
- Add the pork along with the spices.
- Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat.
- Cook over a medium high heat for, 7-10 minutes.
- Add fish sauce, sugar and black pepper.
- The fish sauce adds a salty, umami flavor (like soy sauce!). Sugar provides sweetness to balance out the spicy, savory and salty flavors.
- Remove from heat then add cilantro.
- Move the pan away from the heat and stir in the fresh cilantro.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
What Type of Lettuce Is Best?
Any type of large, leafy green lettuce will work. Ultimately the choice is yours and depends on what you like.
Popular choices for lettuce wraps usually include:
- Iceberg Lettuce: Ideal if you want to add a bit more crunch. It does break easily though so you may want to double up the leaves.
- Butter Lettuce (includes bib lettuce and butter lettuce): These leaves are much softer and more flexible than iceberg.
- Romaine lettuce: Romaine is a good middle ground for iceberg and butter lettuce varieties. They are crunchy near the bottom and softer higher up.
- Cabbage: Not lettuce, but still a good option if you like the crunch. Just keep in mind that cabbage has more flavor than lettuce usually so make sure it’s a type you like.
Ground Pork >> Other Ground Meat
- Instead of pork you can swap it out for a different meat. Ground chicken or ground turkey are great options if you’d prefer to use a leaner options.
- Beef also works if you don’t mind red meat.
Red Chili Flakes >> Fresh Chili Peppers
- Instead of dried chili flakes, use 1-2 fresh chilis instead.
- Choose a chili pepper you like. For a mild spice, try Anaheim chilis. Jalapeños are a decent medium spice chili (though I find the spice level can vary quite a bit!). For a spicier option, try birds eye.
Cilantro >> Parsley or Basil
- Not crazy about cilantro? Try parsley! While it is a very different flavor (more earthy than citrusy), you still get a nice pop of fresh flavor.
- Basil also adds a great alternative flavor. It’s a bit sweet and spicy with a mild pungency.
- Thai Basil is another good shout – especially since this recipe was originally inspired by a Thai Beef Basil. Keep in mind that Thai Basil is known for its anise-like flavor. If you don’t usually like liquorice flavored things, you may not love it here.
The meat filling will keep in an airtight container in the fridge about 4-5 days.
Reheat on high power in the microwave until cooked though or reheat on the stove top. To reheat on the stove, I recommend you add 1-2 tablespoons water or chicken broth to the pan as it heats up to keep the filling from drying out.
For a more filling meal, I recommend you whip up a pot of this Toasted Coconut Rice to add to your lettuce wraps!
If you these pork wraps, don’t forget to rate and leave a comment below.
I always appreciate the feedback – especially when you share what changes you may have made. It also helps future readers who are thinking of making the recipe!
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (olive oil or vegetable oil)
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground pork mince (450g)
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce, ensure gluten free (30 ml)
- 1 tablespoon sugar (brown sugar or white sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (about 1 oz | 30g)
- 8 large lettuce leaves for serving
- Warm a large pan or skillet over a medium heat. Add oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Cook about 30-60 seconds stirring the whole time until the garlic is fragrant.
- Adjust to a medium-high heat. Add the pork, turmeric, chili flakes and ground coriander. Break up the pork with a wooden spoon and mix everything together.
- Cook about 7-10 minutes until there is no pink remaining in the pork. Stir often to keep the garlic from burning.
- Add the fish sauce, sugar and black pepper. Mix well into the ground pork mixture. Cook another 2-3 minutes to cook the sugar and fish sauce, Taste and season with added salt if needed.
- Turn off the heat. Remove the pan from the stove top then stir in the fresh cilantro.
- Serve in lettuce cups (about 1/4 cup mince or 60 grams each) garnish with additional toppings (herbs, chili flakes, pepper, etc) if desired and enjoy.
- Make it paleo: Use honey or maple syrup in place of sugar.
- Cut down on the spice: Use red pepper flakes (usually made with red bell pepper) instead of the chili flakes. Or just omit the chili flakes altogether.
- Lettuce Types: Use what you like! for crunchy lettuce, try iceberg or romain hearts. For softer leaves, use butter lettuce or Boston bibb lettuce.