Using my hands to eat seems to make the meal more fun. Don't you think? There is something about picking up the food that makes it so much more enjoyable. Except perhaps on a date, when I inevitably spill sauce down my wrists and into my sleeves. Or at a fancy restaurant when my sharp elbows pointing out at the neighbouring table make me feel conspicuously out of place. But at home I can eat with my fingers and let the sauce drip where it may.
These lettuce cups are a great crunchy wrap for a minced pork and mushroom mixture. They make a great dinner, or serve them as part of a bigger Chinese meal that might include hot and sour soup, a black bean beef stir fry, fried rice, and silky bean sprout salad.
Pork in Lettuce CupsDo you like to eat with your hands?
adapted from Simple Chinese Cooking by Kylie Kwong
serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as part of a bigger meal
1 head of iceberg lettuce
2 garlic cloves
3 cm section of ginger root
1 small or medium onion
5 shiitake mushrooms (or 130 g any mushrooms)
1 large carrot
2 T dry sherry (or Chinese cooking vinegar)
1 T soy sauce
1 t oyster sauce
1/2 t sesame oil
2 T peanut oil
230 g minced pork
Carefully separate the lettuce leaves. Place in a large bowl with some ice water and let sit while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Slice the garlic and mince the ginger.
Finely slice the onion and mushrooms. Julienne the carrot using a vegetable peeler, a julienne peeler, or a sharp knife.
In a small bowl, mix together the sherry, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil.
Heat a large wok until very hot and turn on your kitchen fan.
Add the peanut oil and heat until shimmering.
Add the garlic, ginger, and pork and stir continually until the pork is no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
Add the onion and mushrooms and continue to stir for 4 more minutes, until the onion has lost its crunch.
Add the carrot and stir fry for a further 1 minute.
Pour in the sauce and cook for 1 minute.
Remove to a bowl, discarding the liquid in the bottom of the pan.
Drain the lettuce leaves and shake dry.
Serve the pork in the lettuce leaves and eat with your hands.
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