Thai Larb Lettuce Cups
with mango and cucumber salsa
In Thailand, larb is the name for a super simple dish of finely chopped protein sauteed with a bit of seasoning and tossed with fresh herbs and lime juice. We've given this dish a Cook Smarts twist by adding quinoa and serving it in lettuce cups.
Smarts: As you can imagine, in Thailand this dish is usually very spicy, so don't hesitate to add extra red pepper flakes or hot sauce if you'd like to serve it that way.
- Quinoa, uncooked - 3/4 cup
- Stock, any type - 1 1/2 cups
- Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
- Tamari - 3 Tbsp
- Fish sauce, gluten-free - 1 tsp (sub Tamari)
- Sugar - 1/4 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
- Mint, fresh - 6 leaves, finely chopped
- Cilantro - 1/4 cup, finely chopped
- Limes - 1, wedges
- Lettuce, butterhead - 12 leaves, sub iceberg
- Water - 1 Tbsp
- Cornstarch - 1 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Pork, ground - 1 lb
- Peanuts - 1/4 cup
- Hot sauce (opt) - for serving
- Cucumbers - 8 oz, diced
- Mangos - 2, diced
- Vinegar, rice - 1 tsp
- Quinoa - (Skip if made ahead for Monday.) Combine quinoa with stock in a saucepan. Add some salt. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make sauce - Chop garlic. Combine garlic, Tamari, fish sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Mint / Cilantro / Limes / Lettuce - Prep as directed. Combine mint and cilantro. Store limes and lettuce separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Cucumbers / Mangos - Prep as directed.
- Make slurry - Whisk together water and cornstarch.
- Combine cucumbers, mangos, and vinegar.
- Heat a wok or large skillet with oil over medium-high heat. Add pork and saute until nearly cooked through, ~5 minutes.
- Add sauce and bring to a simmer. When sauce is simmering, give cornstarch slurry a stir and add it to pork. Stir everything together and continue cooking until sauce thickens and pork is fully cooked.
- Remove pork from heat and stir in quinoa, mint, and cilantro. Squeeze half the lime wedges over top.
- Assemble lettuce cups by filling lettuce leaves with pork, peanuts, and hot sauce (if using). Squeeze extra lime wedges over top. Serve mango cucumber salsa on the side or spoon some onto lettuce cups if you’d like. Enjoy!
Messy to eat but very tasty0 Helpful
Quick and easy! First meal in my new kitchen!0 Helpful
Made with bison instead of pork, this was amazing and so easy0 Helpful
Absolutely delicious! I added more fish sauce and mixed lime juice directly into the pork at the end to adjust for flavor. Sriracha and the mango salsa on top of the lettuce cups adds a lot. Since this is Thai, I can't help but wonder if basil would add a lot to the pork mix...0 Helpful
So delicious!! Refreshing summer dinner. Loved the textures and combination of hot and cold, and salty sour sweet.0 Helpful
Made with ground chicken and subbed brown rice instead of quinoa. Very good.0 Helpful