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Thai Larb Lettuce Cups
with mango and cucumber salsa

Active: 30 minTotal: 30 min

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.



Thai Larb Pork Lettuce Cups with Quinoa:
  • 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
Mango and Cucumber Salsa:
  • Cucumbers - 8 oz, diced
  • Mangos - 2, diced
  • Vinegar, rice - 1 tsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. 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)
  2. Make sauce - Chop garlic. Combine garlic, Tamari, fish sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Mint / Cilantro / Limes / Lettuce - Prep as directed. Combine mint and cilantro. Store limes and lettuce separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Cucumbers / Mangos - Prep as directed.
  5. Make slurry - Whisk together water and cornstarch.


  1. Combine cucumbers, mangos, and vinegar.
  2. Heat a wok or large skillet with oil over medium-high heat. Add pork and saute until nearly cooked through, ~5 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove pork from heat and stir in quinoa, mint, and cilantro. Squeeze half the lime wedges over top.
  5. 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!

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This meal has 43 reviews

Wow, this ended up an unexpected favorite for the whole family - one of whom thinks he doesn’t like fish sauce, one who doesn’t usually eat meat, one who was upset I went ahead and put the rice vinegar on the salad... Every course was a hit as is. Little kids asked to have it again next week! I did make a batch of tofu in the sauce after taking out the pork. Enjoyed by all.

By: Jessica
Posted: Jul 11, 2019
Diet: Original

This one didn’t do it for me. I blame my not-ripe-enough mangoes.

By: Judy
Posted: Jul 11, 2019
Diet: Original

Yum! Better than I expected. Not sure what I was thinking but I added homegrown jalapeno to the salsa and then sriracha on top of lettuce cup. It was very spicy (for me).

By: Meaghan
Posted: Jul 10, 2019
Diet: Paleo

Great combination of flavors! Everybody ate this without complaining, which is awesome. We really enjoyed the salsa and found it added a delicious, sweet balance to the pork when placed in the lettuce cup. This is definitely a meal that will be revisited.

By: Cameron
Posted: Jul 10, 2019
Diet: Original

I loved this! It was a little salty so next time I make it I will probably skip the fish sauce. And I used frozen mangos instead of fresh. It was so yummy and made great leftovers for lunch too.

By: Shaylee
Posted: Jul 10, 2019
Diet: Original

So good! I love the fresh flavors and it was pretty easy to put together. I used ground chicken, and ended up adding extra aminos because I wanted it to be more saucy.

By: Irit
Posted: Jul 10, 2019
Diet: Paleo