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Simple Healthy Dinner Recipes: Pork Lettuce Wraps
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It's very hard to pick a favorite comfort food. I have had several since I was a kid and the list is continuously growing. I guess it comes naturally when you are from a family who loves good food. Growing up, my mom was always there to supervise what we ate. She refused to feed me fast food and personally packed my school lunches. She also slowly introduced me to different kinds of dishes as I grew older. It was somewhere along those years that I discovered how easy it was to prepare lettuce wraps.
Who doesn't love lettuce wraps? For some, it's considered a simplified version of Bossam which is a type of Korean cuisine where steamed and roasted pork is wrapped in a leafy vegetable such as red lettuce or sesame leaf. Often accompanied by condiments like gochujang, this is often served as side dish consumed while drinking alcoholic beverages.
If the Bossam takes a lot of your cooking time then Pork Lettuce Wraps, on the other hand, is one versatile dish that has become a fast favorite whenever I have some friends over. What makes it great is that I can play around with the ingredients and still end up with an equally satisfying gastronomic delight. They're quick and easy to prepare - very fitting for someone who's always on the go - and a great alternative to bread if you're watching your carb intake. Most would often prefer plum sauce to go with this dish but I like it best with my spicy mustard sauce. For starters, allow me to share a recipe I got off the internet for reference:
Pork Lettuce Wraps (http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/pork-lettuce-wraps/)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound lean ground pork
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
16 leaves of butter lettuce or romaine lettuce
8 teaspoons plum sauce - I use spicy mustard sauce instead
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 lime, sliced into 4 wedges
1. In a large frying pan, heat oil over high heat and add pork. Cook, stirring until starting to brown. Drain excess fat.
2. Stir in green onions, allspice, ginger, garlic and soy sauce. Cook until green onions are tender, about 2 minutes.
3. Place 4 leaves on each plate and fill with pork mixture. Top each with plum or spicy mustard sauce and cilantro. Serve with lime.
Since not all of my friends eat pork, I sometimes prepare this using beef as the main ingredient. Instead of soy sauce, I experiment with marinade for beef to pack it with more flavors. One can also opt to use turkey meat coupled with the best marinade for chicken to get some variety. From tuna to quinoa salad to spicy Asian or ham and pineapple combo, the recipe twists for this are endless that I wouldn't mind eating lettuce wraps all week if I have to. The dish is very Asian in origin but even Westerners have come to appreciate it. I remembered how my mom would serve this whenever we had some relatives over. She would simply adjust the ingredients to suit the size of the party and everyone would have their fair share.
It's no wonder why this ended up on my list of favorite comfort foods. They evoke a sense of nostalgia and remind me of the good, old days of my childhood. It's a staple for anyone wanting a hearty meal and a little taste of home. So why not prepare this dish yourself and impress your loved ones? It's worth the effort, I promise.
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