Pork Larb Lettuce Cups are a fantastic low carb recipe packed with bold Thai flavors. Loads of fresh herbs, spices and lime make this low carb version a great dish that’s easy to prepare.
WTF is Larb??
If I were in charge I would have not named this delicious dish Larb. But since I wasn’t consulted and the people have Laos have already declared this the official dish of their country there’s not much I can do. Larb is a Meat Salad that has roots all over southeast Asian including Thailand and the Philippines but definitely calls Laos home.
Traditionally Larb is made with ground pork tossed in copious amounts of lime juice and fish sauce. Thai basil, scallions, mint and cilantro pack the dish with herbaceos depth of flavor along with a little kick from the Thai chiles. Normally toasted rice is ground up with a mortar and pestle and then sprinkled into the pork for added texture and crunch. To replace the toasted rice I replaced it with crushed pork rinds.
What kind of lettuce can is best for Pork Larb Lettuce Cups?
You can use any type of lettuce you have on hand that can act as a vessel to deliver pork to your mouth. Bibb lettuce, Romaine or even iceberg all will do the job but My favorite option is Napa Cabbage. Napa Cabbage has the perfect contrast of texture between the tender but durable leaves and the crunchy of the stem. It also doesn’t have a strong cabbage taste that might overpower the pork. It’s the perfect carrier for lettuce cups of any kind.
Is Larb best served hot or cold.
Call me crazy but I prefer to eat my Pork Larb cold. I have always argued that you can taste the flavor of food better when served cold. Since Larb is often called a “meat salad” I feel that serving it cold just makes sense. If you enjoy pork Larb warm them you can easily warm it up and serve it with your chilled lettuce cups. Either way Pork Larb Lettuce Cups have definitely become one of my absolute favorites. It’s great for meal prep and doesn’t take long to prepare.
What is fish sauce and what does it taste like?
If you’re the type of person who believes ignorance is bliss go ahead and skip this section. Fish Sauce is one of those ingredients that sounds disgusting, smells funky but southeast Asian cooking would be nothing without it.
Fish Sauce actually dates back to Roman times where sardines anchovies and mackerel would be salted and left to ferment for months and then pressed to extract the salty briny gold that was known as garum. In Asia anchovies are salted and placed in barrels to ferment. Over time bricks are placed on top to press out the fish sauce. The best quality fish sauce comes from this first press.
When purchasing fish sauce look for a brand that doesn’t use any preservatives. The only two ingredients should be fish and salt. Also look for a brand that uses one specific fish as opposed to a blend of different fish. Red Boat Fish Sauce is My favorite brand because it is first press with only salt and Anchovy on the ingredient list. Pork Larb Lettuce Cups are all about the ingredients so it absolutely helps to use a high quality fish sauce
“Fish sauce is made all over Asia, but the best is said to come from two places in Vietnam: Phú Quốc, a tropical island off the southwest coast and the southeast coastal town of Phan Thiết.”https://www.citypassguide.com/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-fish-sauce
More Asian Low Carb Recipes
- Brown off ground pork in a pan, once fully cooked remove pork from pan and drain of exsess liquid. Set asside to cool
- prepare sauce by combining fish sauce, sesame oil, spicy chili crisp, herbs, garlic, ginger, jalapenos, lime zest and juice
- toss pork together with dressing and let marinate for 10 minutes and then top with crushed pork rinds, sesame seeds and sliced scallions and sesame seeds. serve with Napa Cabbage or Bibb lettuce
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