‘Pork lettuce wraps with Saucí Gin+Scal’
Yield: 4 servings (+ leftovers)
Time: 15min to 8 hours, depending on which you make
Fresh, healthy dinner or appetizer. The crunch of romaine lettuce makes a nice alternative to soft tortillas, and keeps this dish gluten and corn-free. These work great with either pork, chicken, beef, or seasoned veggies. You can choose your own adventure: if time is short, use ground meat or take-out, if not do a nice slow-roasted or smoked pork shoulder or whole chicken.
Lettuce wraps are a casual, fresh, healthy dinner or lunch. Of course the same idea works perfectly with tortillas, but these are lighter and more Asian-inspired than Latin-American. They also work great with chicken or beef instead of the pork. For a vegan version, use a medley of grilled or sautéed veggies and mushrooms. As a side note, this same recipe would be delicious with the Saucí Verde also.
You can do this quickly or you can do some homemade slow-roasted, slow-cooker, or slow-smoker meat. If you are weeknight time-pressed you can quickly cook up some ground pork or chicken in a skillet with a few seasonings, or grab some pork from a BBQ take-out, or a rotisserie chicken from your favorite place. Or for a quick, delicious vegan/vegetarian version, stir-fry some veggies such as squashes, peppers and mushrooms.
We’ve done them all. The most important part is the Saucí Gin+Scal.
- 1 English cucumber, julienne-cut
- 2 small or 1 large carrot, julienne-cut
- 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp very thinly sliced ginger root
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
A quick ground pork version:
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 tsp mince garlic
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
A slow-roasted pork version:
- 1 pork shoulder blade (~4.5lb)
¼ cup paprika
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tbsp ginger powder
2 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons cumin
Slow-roasted pork version (skip if time-pressed). Follow your own favorite slow-roasted pork recipe or try the one below. A crock-pot/slow-cooker version would work great as well, just look up the procedure to get the liquids right.
- Mix the dry rub ingredients in a bowl
- Pat the pork shoulder dry with a paper towel on all sides
- Sprinkle, pat and rub the dry rub all over the pork, and into any crevasses.
- Heat the oven to 225deg
- Double-wrap the pork in aluminum foil and set on the middle rack.
- Cook for 7-8 hours or until an inserted fork twists without much pressure. You’re going for a temperature upwards of 180deg to ensure the connective tissue breaks down, but the texture is the important thing.
- Let rest for about 15-30min, raise the oven to 500deg, then unwrap the top of the foil and roast in high heat to caramelize the exterior.
- Remove from the oven, then move the pork to a cutting board, but save the collected juices and fat in the aluminum foil. Use two forks to pull apart the meat until nicely shredded, then add to a bowl and mix in the juices.
Quick-pickled Asian veggies (about 30m-1hr before the pork is done):
- Whisk the sugar, salt, and vinegar together in a large bowl until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Alternatively you can heat them in a sauce pan until dissolved then add to a bowl.
- Add the cucumber, carrot, onion, ginger, and mix together. You can add some water and/or some more vinegar if needed to cover the veggies.
- Put in a covered bowl in the fridge for 30m or up to a few days.
Quick ground pork version:
- Add the pork, garlic and scallions to a medium hot pan toss until the meat is browned
- Stir in soy or coconut aminos, then the vinegar, and finally the sesame oil
- Remove from heat
Put it together:
- Cut the bottom off the head of Romaine, then peel off the leaves and wash them. I like to trim the very tips off too, and sometimes cut them in half to make smaller lettuce wraps, or leave them long.
- Set up a DIY buffet for wrap-building, or assemble and serve by laying out some lettuce, spoon on some pork (or chicken or veggies), drop on a few pickled veggies.
- Top with a teaspoon or two of Saucí Gin+Scal and enjoy!