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 serving it in lettuce cups. This meal was last featured in 2019.
Smarts: As you might guess, larb 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.
- Cucumbers - 8 oz, diced
- Mangos - 2, diced
- Vinegar, rice - 1 tsp
- Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 3 Tbsp
- Fish sauce - 1 tsp
- Sugar - 1/4 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
- Mint, fresh - 8 leaves, finely chopped
- Cilantro - 1/4 cup, finely chopped
- Limes - 1, wedges
- Lettuce, butterhead - 12 leaves (sub outer leaves from hearts of Romaine)
- Water - 1 Tbsp
- Cornstarch - 1 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Pork, ground - 1 lb
- Peanuts - 1/3 cup
- Hot sauce (opt) - for serving
- Quinoa, uncooked - 3/4 cup
- Stock, any type - 1 1/2 cups
- Quinoa - 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, soy sauce, 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!
Good flavors, but if I did it again I would likely use ground turkey breast or chicken. The pork might have been too heavy.1 Helpful
I did this as a salad instead of lettuce wraps. The flavor was great, especially the salsa.0 Helpful
Quick, easy dinner for a summer night. Definitely needed the hot sauce on mine but it was flexible that way, people could make them perfect for themselves.0 Helpful
Messy but worth it!0 Helpful
I will double the sauce next time, but it was very good with the salsa.0 Helpful
This recipe lacked flavor and I followed it as written. The mango cucumber salsa was good though.0 Helpful
This was really good, Larb is one of my favorite dishes. I'm not sure what it was missing but still not quite the larb from my Thai restaurant. Still good and I really appreciated having a home-cooked larb meal. Maybe next time using BBQ steak strips?0 Helpful