I’m determined to get a life during this Labour Day long weekend so let me quickly leave you with this.  Best.  Damn.  “Salad”.  You’ll.  Ever.  Have.  Period.  Period.


It’s a recipe I developed for Food52’s column “Half Way to Dinner“, and initially I didn’t write any measurements down because I wasn’t sure how open you guys would be towards a “ground pork salad”.  But it turned out, a few request for it came in and so I made it again the other night… and again… and again…

I was incandescently happy being lost in a sea of gushing green that I got confused for a moment.  How could be?  What’s happened to me?  The flavour between a few thinly sliced shallots, splashes of fish sauce and lime juice is practically addictive no matter what you mix it with, but still… am I a “salad” person now?  Oh wait… there’s the ground pork… lots of it.  Actually.  Well forget what I said then.

Best.  Damn.  “Meat salad”.  Ever.  Period.





Servings: 2


  • 10.6 oz (300 grams) of ground pork-shoulder
  • 1 tsp of fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp of cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp of chopped lemongrass
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, with the mid-stems removed
  • 2 ~ 3 small shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 small red chilis, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped scallion
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 tbsp of finely chopped mint
  • 2 tsp of grated ginger
  • Zest of 1/2 lime
  • 2 tbsp of lime juice
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of ground white pepper

This is a highly adaptable recipe with a few key-ingredients as a failsafe “foundation” to build on which are:  Thinly sliced shallots, fish sauce and lime juice.  Everything else is changeable to your liking.  Ground pork can be shredded chicken, where as lemongrass/lime leaves/scallion/cilantro/mint, can be basil/chives/parsley/etc.  Just remember the ratio between protein and herbs should be 1:1.

Mix ground pork-shoulder with 1 tsp of fish sauce and cornstarch until even.  Heat up a non-stick skillet with 2 tsp of oil over medium-high heat, and sauté while breaking up the pork with a wooden spoon until it’s slightly browned.  Let the pork cool completely over a fine sieve to eliminate excess oil.  In a mortar, or spice-grinder or food-processor, grind the chopped lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves (use only the leaf-part without the mid-stem) until finely bashed up.  Transfer to a large bowl, and add finely sliced shallots, chilis, scallion, cilantro, mint, grated ginger and lime zest (if you’re using small Asian limes with thin skin, 4~5 very thin slices added to the salad can bring refreshing zing).  Add the cooled ground pork-shoulder, lime juice, fish sauce and ground white pepper.  Toss the mixture until evenly combined.  Re-season with more fish sauce if need be.

Serve with white steamed rice, or rice paper.




  • This looks so unbelievably good. Is this kind of like larb? I’ve always wanted to make larb at home. Ain’t no shame in being a salad person!

  • Perfect recipe. Should be good in a lettuce wrap. I just bought a kaffir lime tree for my garden. Excellent !

  • Umm, I totally and always willing to consume a pork salad. Never heard of it, but thank goodness you taught my such a beauty. I wish more people around like eating pork!! I forgot to mention it in an earlier comment, but I love the new “format” for these posts!

  • As the only person who has actually had this creation, I can safely say that this is one of the most delicious use of minced meat!

  • I made this recipe and subbed crumbled and fried tofu, it was awesome. I thought I would get to eat most of it, but my husband started hoarding the bowl next to him. I normally don’t eat meat, but my friend just gave me some homemade Lao sausages, which means we will be doing this again. Thanks for sharing, love your site.

  • Man, this was good. I usually adjust the ratio of stuff:meat in recipes, but I didn’t need to here (aside from adding a couple of torn-up leaves of lettuce, since my partner was a little overwhelmed by all the strong flavors). This is going into the regular lineup for sure.

  • Hello, in the picture with the raw pork, it looks like an egg getting ready to go into the mixture. It’s not in the recipe but is it supposed to be?

    I made this the other day and it was awesome!

  • I made this last night and was serving two vegetarians along with us meat eaters so I used a 400 gm package of veggie ground round and added a wee bit of sesame oil to make up for the lack of pork fat. It was happily inhaled by all. Soooo yummy! Thanks!

  • I just spent an hour that I should have spent working looking through your site. Everything you make seems to be exactly fitting for my sour-spicy-numbing–carby-herby-chinese/korean food addiction/palate. Already made your chili oil and spicy cold noodles, this and the roast pork are my weekend goals!

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