Asian Pork Lettuce Cups for SIBO

Contrasting flavors and textures help take the boredom out of dinner: this SIBO-friendly combination of warm pork, cool crispy lettuce, and salty/sweet/umami flavors is just the ticket!

For the past three years, we’ve been filling our freezer with amazing pork direct from the farmer. Located about an hour south of Seattle, Gavin at Dinner Time Farm raises a limited number of pigs in large, grassy pastures with kindness and attention to detail. We love supporting him and we love finding new ways to cook with his delicious pork!

One of those ways is using more fresh ground pork—either in lieu of, or in combination with ground beef. When you order a whole or half pig, all the leftover cuts are typically turned into ground sausage. Given that most sausage flavoring includes garlic and spices that our SIBO diets can’t tolerate, we tell the butcher to simply grind the scraps and package it as-is, plain and simple.

Not fond of pork? Substitute ground chicken, turkey, beef or lamb… or even soy crumbles to make this vegetarian.

Ingredients:

  • Large handful (approximately 1 cup) of fresh green beans (the thinner, the better)
  • Lettuce leaves for serving (roughly 4-6 leaves per person): butter lettuce is commonly used, since its tender leaves are easy to fold around the pork filling, however I had romaine lettuce on hand, and it worked just fine, torn into large flat portions
  • 2 pounds fresh ground pork
  • 2 TBL freshly minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup minced celery
  • 1 large carrot, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil (or more to taste)
  • 3-4 tsp Fish Sauce or Coconut Aminos (amount depends on your taste); see note*
  • 2 scallions or Egyptian walking onions, green parts only, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped and ready for garnish, if you like
  • Chopped / ground peanuts for garnish, if you like

*Step 6 below recommends you taste the mixture and adjust amounts to your preference. Fish sauce will taste saltier than coconut aminos; coconut aminos will taste sweeter. If you use coconut aminos, you can add rice wine vinegar to offset the sweetness, if you like.

Directions:

  1. Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes, remove and place into an ice bath. When cool, chop into 1/3″ pieces.
  2. Tear off leaves of lettuce, remove the thick rib at the base, wash, and allow to dry on a clean dish towel.
  3. Heat a large non-stick pan or wok to medium-high, and add the pork, breaking up the meat into small bits as it browns, until cooked through. Pour off as much pork fat as you can.
  4. Move the pork to the edges of the pan or wok, and add ginger, celery, carrots, and sesame oil. Sauté until the vegetables have started to soften.
  5. Add the blanched and chopped green beans and red peppers, stir to combine well with meat and ginger/celery/carrot mixture, then add lime juice and fish sauce (or coconut aminos).
  6. Add the scallions, stir well, and taste the mixture: if it’s too sweet, add a splash of rice wine vinegar. If you want it a little saltier, add a bit more fish sauce or coconut aminos. Can’t quite taste the sesame oil? Add a little more.
  7. Lay out your lettuce leaves onto the serving plates, add a big spoonful of the pork mixture to each leaf, and top with cilantro and peanuts, if you like!

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