THAI HERBS AND PORK SALAD
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.
HOW COULD IT BE? OH WAIT, IT’S THE PORK.
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.
- 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.
Belinda@themoonblushbakerMay 2, 2014 at 4:47 PM
Here’s to making eating a block of meat more lady like; or making salad more attractive. I might not need to eat salad for the “summer” figure but I sure could forgo a heavy dinner for this.
Liz B. @ Umami LifeMay 2, 2014 at 7:18 PM
Call me crazy, but I feel like this salad would make a killer dumpling filling. I’ve never had dumplings with mint and lemongrass! Might have to try it outtttt.
AliMay 2, 2014 at 9:47 PM
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!
cheriMay 2, 2014 at 10:37 PM
This is my kind of salad, kind of reminds me of larb but with pork. Love all the components! Pinned!
LindaMay 2, 2014 at 10:55 PM
Perfect recipe. Should be good in a lettuce wrap. I just bought a kaffir lime tree for my garden. Excellent !
email@example.comMay 2, 2014 at 11:26 PM
CHERI and LINDA: Yeah! It’s a variation on larb, with more herbs in ratio to meat than most recipes. Very close to the ones I’ve had in Phuket.
Nik@ABrownTableMay 3, 2014 at 12:20 AM
I love ground pork, I wish it was cooked more. Love the salad and larb inspiration behind it.
Nik@ABrownTableMay 3, 2014 at 12:20 AM
I meant to say “cooked more often”
LynnaMay 5, 2014 at 9:05 AM
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!
JasonMay 5, 2014 at 5:40 PM
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!
Christina CMay 6, 2014 at 12:04 AM
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.
CollieMay 12, 2014 at 6:49 AM
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.
Sean BallJune 26, 2014 at 11:52 PM
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!
mandy@ladyandpupsJune 27, 2014 at 1:42 AM
SEAN, hahaha I believe that’s fish sauce, not eggs :)
herbshealthJuly 15, 2014 at 11:30 AM
I will definitely give a try on these tips. I enjoy learning something new. Please keep
doing these articles. Thank you.
DawnJuly 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM
Made this tonight and everyone loved it. Really delicious.
mandy@ladyandpupsJuly 16, 2014 at 9:03 PM
RuthSeptember 19, 2014 at 1:21 PM
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!
KTMarch 25, 2016 at 3:09 AM
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!
Vertical garden plantersNovember 24, 2017 at 10:11 AM
The flavour between a few thinly sliced shallots, splashes of fish sauce and lime juice is practically addictive .