All the Asian deliciousness of a Vietnamese Pork Banh Mi sandwich with the sweetly sauced pork, pickled veggies, crunchy peanuts and fresh cilantro, but in a crunchy, healthy lettuce wrap instead of a bun. I totally love these lettuce wraps even more than the sandwich! And it was very nice to hear at the event I served these at that everyone that tasted them seemed to also agree … in fact, one gal told me these were the BEST lettuce wraps she’d ever tasted in her life … and she’d had a lot of lettuce wraps. That’s the sort of thing a cook lives to hear!
I know, some of you are going to look at this recipe and think it’s too difficult … but personally I love that it’s a “cook once, eat a whole bunch of times”…. You can make this all in one day, or make it in bits and pieces (make the pork one day and have BBQ pulled pork sandwiches or a Modern Taco Salad, then make the pickled veggies another day and set them in the fridge … then another day, make the amazing Banh Mi sauce and enjoy the lettuce wraps). Personally, I like to get big pork shoulder roasts at Costco (which is really two pieces so I make one at a time but still it’s a LOT of meat), cook and shred the meat, then use the pulled pork for various purposes to serve lots of people in many different ways. It freezes really nicely, too. The pickled veggies will keep almost forever in the fridge, and the sauce can be frozen as well, so you can have all the three key pieces for these wraps ready and waiting for any moment when the urge to have a Pork Banh Mi lettuce wrap might strike you.
And, once you have tasted these lettuce wraps, I am sure the craving will strike you … in fact, just looking at these pictures is making me hungry for one right now! I forgot to do the drizzle of Yum Yum sauce on the ones that I photographed, but I have to say, the creamy, spicy sauce does add an even further flavor dimension. And great news: I’ve made an easier healthier version of the sauce that I will blog soon. (Hint: I replaced much of the mayo with Greek yogurt. Same amazing flavors, more protein, less fat, carbs and preservatives. Total win!)
- Shredded pork (to make your own, use this recipe or this one without the BBQ sauce or this one)
- 2 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons pickling salt
- 2 cups julienned daikon (or regular) radish
- 1 1/2 cups matchstick carrots
- 1/4 of an onion, sliced very thin
- 1 English cucumber, cut into slices and then chopped to make half-moon shapes
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 2 medium onions, peeled & chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 1/3 cup finely chopped carrots
- 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the pork
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- Fresh Romaine lettuce leaves
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Chopped roasted peanuts
- Japanese Yum Yum sauce (recipe here) or Sriracha mayonnaise (optional)
- For the quick pickled veggies: Mix the veggies together and pack them tightly into a jar (or two). Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt over medium high heat until boiling. Pour the boiling water over the veggies. Cover and let sit for at least an hour.
- Now to make the sauce for the pork! Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the avocado oil and swirl to coat, then stir in the chopped onions and cook for 4 - 6 minutes or until the onion is very soft and translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and carrots and cook a couple more minutes. Stir in the cooking liquid, hoisin sauce and fish sauce, then stir in the shredded pork, coating it in the sauce. Stir in the reserved onions as well.
- To make the wraps: Choosing leaves that naturally look a bit rounded and crunchy (like a taco shell), set 2-3 leaves of Romaine on a plate. (If your leaves aren't wide enough or if you want extra crunch, you might put two lettuce leaves together for each "wrap".) Add a generous serving of the pork down the center of each leaf and top with the pickled veggies (drained), a sprinkle of cilantro and a sprinkle of chopped roasted peanuts. Drizzle with the Yum Yum sauce if you like and enjoy!
Cooking time does not include the time to cook the pork.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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