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Thai Lettuce Cups

Lemongrass is available in many markets, but if you can’t find it, substitute 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice and 2 tsp. grated lemon zest. Add the juice and zest to the pork mixture in the second step.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb. ground pork
  • 3/4 lb. sweet or hot pork sausage, casings removed
  • 4 green onions, white and light green portions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bulb portion only, trimmed and minced
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 or 3 butter lettuce heads, separated into about 22 leaves

Directions:

Cook the pork and sausage
In a fry pan over medium-low heat, cook the pork and sausage, stirring to break the meat apart, until no trace of pink remains, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork mixture to a double layer of paper towels and let cool for 5 minutes. Crumble into small bits.

Assemble the lettuce cups
In a bowl, combine the pork mixture, green onions, bell pepper, lemongrass, mint, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame seeds.

Place about 2 Tbs. of the pork mixture in the center of each lettuce leaf. Arrange the cups on a platter and serve immediately. Makes about 22 lettuce cups.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Small Plates, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).