Banh Mi Pork Lettuce Cups
with pickled vegetables / pineapple smoothie
We love the flavor and crunch of a Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich so much that we couldn't resist turning them it into paleo-friendly lettuce cups. Saucy ground pork and tangy pickled vegetables combine to make this an addictively flavorful meal.
Smarts: Like most great lettuce cups, these are messy to eat. If you prefer less mess, you can chop the lettuce and serve this like a salad instead.
- Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
- Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
- Bragg's / coconut aminos - 2 1/2 Tbsp
- Honey - 2 tsp
- Vinegar, rice - 1 Tbsp
- Oil, toasted sesame - 1 Tbsp
- Limes - 1, wedges
- Cilantro - 1 Tbsp, chopped
- Pork chops, boneless - 1 1/2 lbs, cubed
- Lettuce, romaine hearts - 12 leaves
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Sesame seeds, white (opt) - 2 tsp
- Hot sauce - for serving
- Coleslaw mix - 6 oz (sub thinly sliced cabbage)
- Carrots, pre-shredded - 5 oz
- Vinegar, rice - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Honey - 1 tsp
- Pineapple, frozen cubes - 12 oz
- Bananas - 2
- Coconut water - 1 cup (sub water or fruit juice)
- Make sauce - Chop garlic. Whisk together garlic, tomato paste, aminos, honey, vinegar (the portions for the pork) and toasted sesame oil. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make pickled vegetables - Toss together coleslaw mix, shredded carrots, vinegar and honey (the portions for the vegetables). Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to a day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Limes / Cilantro - Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Pork - Slice pork into 1" / 2.5cm cubes. Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Make smoothies - Blend pineapple, banana and coconut milk in a blender until smooth. Add some additional coconut milk, water or juice a bit at a time if needed to get a smooth consistency.
- Lettuce - Peel off leaves for lettuce cups.
- Heat a wok or nonstick pan with oil over medium-high heat. Add pork and saute until nearly cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Pour sauce over pork and simmer until sauce thickens and pork is cooked through, ~2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sesame seeds.
- Divide pork into lettuce cups and top with pickled vegetables. Squeeze lime wedges over top and finish with cilantro and some hot sauce. Enjoy with smoothies on the side.
Holy cow this was great! I cheated and added a little mayo and siracha to the slaw. Fresh, colorful and easy!0 Helpful
Loved this! My 7 year old loved the Tofu and she wouldn't touch it previously!0 Helpful
A little spicy for me, but very good.0 Helpful
It's a keeper! Family loved it.0 Helpful
Delicious! I love this light Vietnamese meal. I took peoples' recommendations and used PORK instead of tofu. I also avoided the sriacha for the 4 year old. It's true (as someone else said) the cabbage/carrots did not have a strong pickling flavor - wonder what would have given that an added kick? We ended up having the smoothie the next morning for breakfast -- I threw in a handful of chard to make it more healthy and it didn't lose any of its sweet deliciousness.0 Helpful
never thought to try making sriracha mayo, but it was so delicious I could eat it on anything! skipped the smoothies.0 Helpful