These are super tasty but not something you want to eat on a first date (if you know what I mean). I tried to eat them as daintily as possible, imagining myself at Downton Abbey for tea with Grandmama, but I just ended up slurping a lot next to my husband with chili sauce running down my arm. Thankfully I'm married and he's stuck with me.
If you have an Asian market nearby, I urge you to go explore! They have some amazing spices and sauces, fish and produce. I also like to buy at least 1 thing that I cannot identify and try it. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. If you don't have an Asian market, I tried to include links.
1 pound pork (you can use ground, but I cubed up some pork tenderloin I had)
1/2 onion, diced
3 large garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 tbs coconut oil
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 tsp fish sauce
2 tbs almond butter
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 pinches Chinese 5 spice
salt & pepper to taste
sliced almonds, green onions, red bell pepper for garnish
Lettuce leaves for wrapping*
In a large wok heat the coconut oil and add the onion, carrot, and bell pepper. Cook until onions become soft, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the pork and and zucchini and cook until pork is browned on all sides. Add fish sauce, almond butter, mirin, rice vinegar, 5 spice and salt and pepper and cook until pork is done. If it seems to soupy, remove pork and let the liquid reduce down a bit.
Serve in lettuce cups with desired accoutrements
Some topping I like: hot chinese mustard, sweet chili sauce, sliced almonds, green onions, red bell peppers....Or you could use: ponzu, hoisin
*I grow butter lettuce, but the leaves are fairly small and a little delicate, so I also used some of my collards, and those have a ton more structural integrity.
Disclaimer: I called these Asian because they have a mix of flavors from different countries. I have Thailand, China, and Japan representing in this dish