Thai-style pork lettuce cups

Nici Wickes' pork lettuce cups recipe is clean, punchy, textural and quick to prepare. This gluten and dairy-free dish is equally suited for fast weeknight meals or a dinner party spread

By Nici Wickes
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
  • Makes 8
  • Print
This recipe first appeared in New Zealand Woman's Weekly.
Follow New Zealand Woman's Weekly on Facebook, Instagram and sign up to their e-newsletter.


  • 1/4 cup uncooked jasmine rice (Nici prefers brown)
  • 100 gram thin rice noodles or vermicelli
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 400 to 500g pork mince
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or ½ tsp salt)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, stem removed, thinly sliced
  • pinch brown sugar
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 8 to 12 lettuce cups, washed and separated
  • 1/2 red onion, diced very fine
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, crushed
  • 3 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • store-bought chilli jam, to serve


  • 1
    Dry-fry the rice in a pan for 10 minutes until well toasted. Keep the pan moving so the grains toast evenly. Cool, then crush in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. No need to take it to a powder – roughly crushed is fine.
  • 2
    In a bowl, pour in enough boiling water to cover the noodles. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 10 minutes, then drain and repeat. Drain well.
  • 3
    Heat the oil in a frying pan. Fry the pork, breaking it up with a fork as it cooks. Add the roasted rice, fish sauce, sesame oil, kaffir lime leaves and brown sugar, stirring until the pork is cooked. Transfer to a serving bowl and add the lime juice.
  • 4
    Serve on a large platter or wooden board with piles of lettuce leaves and noodles, along with the pork and small bowls of red onion, nuts, sesame seeds and a jar of chilli jam.
  • 5
    Start building and eat!


  • Roasted rice is a common addition in many Thailand dishes that use chicken or pork mince. It adds a wonderful flavour and acts as a binder. Try it!

read more from