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Vietnamese Meatball Lettuce Wraps

If you’re watching your carb intake, than this is a recipe for you.  Pork is mixed with scallions, cilantro and some other Asian seasoning to create moist, tender and incredibly flavorful meatballs.  They’re topped with shredded carrots, more cilantro, scallions for crunch and served in crisp cold lettuce leaves.  A little drizzle of lime juice spiced up with jalapeño and sweetened with a bit of sugar adds sweet and spicy to this easy weeknight dinner.  Have hungry teens in the house?  Serve this with your favorite rice: sticky, white, or brown are the perfect filling side dish.

Vietnamese Meatball Lettuce Wraps

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Serves: 4 Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 scallions, minced (white and light green parts, reserve the dark green part)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Sauce:
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 serrano (you can also use a jalapeño), seeded and sliced
  • For serving:
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • Cilantro sprigs
  • Sliced scallion greens (the dark greens you reserved from the original scallions)
  • Lettuce leaves (my favorite is iceberg, but you can use romaine or cabbage)

Instructions

1

In a medium bowl, mix the pork, cilantro, scallions (just the white and light green parts), water, fish sauce, sugar and pepper. Mix really well to fully incorporate all the ingredients. You can use a wooden spoon or, my favorite method, your hands.

2

One the ingredients are incorporated together, make the meatballs. This recipe usually yields about 20-25 meatballs depending on how big or small you make them. I like to make them on the smaller side because the cook quicker and are easier to eat. Roll a couple of tablespoons of the pork mixture between your palms, and place on a large sheet pan that you have oiled.

3

Once all the meatballs are formed, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes. This gives the ingredients a chance to infuse the pork with all their amazing flavor.

4

While the meatballs are in the fridge, you can make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and serrano together. Set aside. In another small bowl, add the grated carrots and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice sauce. Set aside.

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