Char Siu Lettuce Wraps with Cashew Sauce
and roasted broccolini
With warm slices of pork, creamy cashew sauce, and cold / crisp cucumbers, these lettuce wraps got great reviews for their layers of texture and flavor when this meal was last featured in March 2020.
Smarts: The pork in this recipe makes enough for 2 nights. Set half aside for Thursday's cauliflower fried 'rice'.
- Garlic - 6 cloves , crushed
- Pineapple juice (6 oz / 175 mL) - 1 can
- Bragg's / coconut aminos - 1/4 cup
- Oil, cooking - 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp
- Chinese five spice - 1 tsp
- Pork loin, boneless (enough for 2 nights) - 3 lb (sub pork tenderloin)
- Stock, any type - 1/2 cup (sub water)
- Cashew butter - 1/3 cup (sub almond butter)
- Vinegar, rice - 2 tsp
- Hot sauce - 1 tsp
- Lettuce, romaine - 12 leaves
- Cucumbers - 8 oz , diced
- Green onions - 2 stalks , finely chopped, white and green parts combined
- Char siu pork (ingredients listed separately) - ~1 1/2 lbs , cut into bite-sized pieces
- Broccolini - 1 lb , trimmed
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Oil, toasted sesame - 1/2 tsp
- Sesame seeds, white (opt) - 1 tsp
- Lime juice - 1 tsp
Make marinade - Crush garlic cloves with the palm of your hand. Discard peels. Combine garlic cloves, pineapple juice, aminos, oil (first portion for Char Siu), and Chinese five spice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Marinate pork - Combine pork with marinade. Turn to coat. Tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days. (Can be done 2 days ahead)
Make spicy cashew sauce - Whisk together cashew butter, vinegar, and hot sauce. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Broccolini - Trim broccolini. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Lettuce / Cucumbers / Green onions - Prep as directed.
Heat oven to 375F / 190C.
Remove pork from marinade (discard marinade). Pat pork dry and season generously with some salt and pepper.
Heat a large oven-safe skillet with oil (second portion for Char Siu) over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear on all sides until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes total.
While pork sears, toss broccolini with cooking oil (portion for broccolini), toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, and some salt.
When pork is seared on all sides, remove pan from heat. Pour stock into skillet. Add broccolini to skillet, nestling it around the pork.
Transfer skillet to the oven and roast until pork is cooked (reaches an internal temperature of 145F / 63C), 25 to 45 minutes. Broccolini should be done cooking after about 25 minutes. If it finishes cooking before pork, remove it from the pan and set it aside, covered to keep warm. (Note: Cook time for the pork will vary depending on thickness. If using pork tenderloin, these are typically much smaller and will cook faster. Start checking pork tenderloin after 12 minutes in the oven. If pork tenderloin finishes before broccolini, remove pork and allow broccolini to continue roasting.)
Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest, covered, for 7 minutes.
Move broccolini to a serving plate. Reserve pan juices from the bottom of the skillet.
Squeeze lime juice over broccolini.
Slice pork into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle reserved pan juices over top of pork. (Reserve half the pork for Thursday.)
Set out lettuce, pork, cucumbers, green onions, and cashew sauce so that you can assemble lettuce wraps at the table. Enjoy broccolini on the side.
To get a head start for Thursday, dice the portion of pork for that night's meal.