Vietnamese Pork Lettuce Cups

Updated: Feb 16, 2019

It's no secret to those who know me that I LOVE Vietnamese food. During the flood disaster and after our evacuation we were gifted a food hamper, and one of the items in it was pork mince. With what little items I had in our temporary accommodation, I made this beautiful meal capturing the flavours of Vietnam in each mouthful.

This recipe is the first family meal I cooked since we evacuated. While we were sitting around our new dinner table, I watched my family embrace our "new normal" and it made me realise that although we may have lost so much and our home may be badly damaged, I am still so rich with an amazing family.

Note: This meal could also be used in a thermos for school lunches for older children. Just heat the meat and put the lettuce in another container. For younger children you could mix the meat with noodles or rice.

Prep 10 min // Cook 15 min


500g pork mince

2 spring onions diced finely

1 knob ginger diced finely (about size 10 cent piece)

3 large garlic cloves diced finely

1 long red chilli diced finely (de-seed if you want a mild flavour)

1 stalk lemon grass bruised and diced finely

2 tbs brown sugar

3 tbs kecap manis

2 tbs fish sauce

handful of coriander finely diced

1 carrot finely diced

1/2 red capsicum finely diced

1/2 zucchini finely diced

Lettuce cup (see note)


  1. Heat 1 tbs oil in a wok and when hot stir fry spring onion, garlic, lemongrass and chilli for 2 min.

  2. Add carrot, zucchini and capsicum and stir fry for a further 1 minute.

  3. Add pork and cook for 3 min and break up meat as it browns. Don't break meat too finely as you would with a pasta sauce, larger chunks are better for this dish.

  4. Add kecap manis, sugar and fish sauce and stir quickly. Leave the meat to cook in the juices for about 2 minutes, and the pork will begin to caramelise.

  5. Once it starts to caramelise give the mix a quick stir and leave for 1 minute and then stir again.

  6. Repeat the process a further 2 times until it has caramelised.

  7. Stir in coriander and then spoon pork into the prepared lettuce cups.

Note: For crisp lettuce cup bowls remove lettuce leaves and place in a dish of ice cold water until ready for use.

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