Pork Meatballs in Butter Lettuce Cups with Soy Dipping Sauce & Sticky Rice

Pork Meatballs in Butter Lettuce Cups

with Soy Dipping Sauce & Sticky Rice

25 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

For this refreshing dish, we’re taking inspiration from Southeast Asian cuisines. Our pork meatballs are packed with warm, citrusy flavors, like those of coriander and lemongrass. We’re coating the meatballs in a little tangy-sweet soy sauce (the rest of the sauce is for dipping) and serving them in crisp lettuce cups. Butter lettuce is perfect for the job: its leaves are not only buttery-smooth, but also uniquely sturdy, perfect for holding the meatballs and deliciously sticky rice. As a special touch, we’re also adding delicately crunchy pea shoots.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Pork Meatballs in Butter Lettuce Cups with Soy Dipping Sauce & Sticky Rice
Title
  • 10 oz Ground Pork
  • ¾ cup Sushi Rice
  • 2 Scallions
  • 1 head Butter Lettuce
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 oz Pea Shoots
  • 1 large bunch Mint
  • ¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup Rice Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Soy Glaze
  • 2 tsps Pork Meatball Spice Blend (White Sesame Seeds, Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder, Ground Coriander & Lemongrass Powder)
time-saving
tips & techniques
Cook the rice:
1 Cook the rice:

In a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt and ¾ cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 11 to 13 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside in a warm place.

Prepare the ingredients & make the sauce:
2 Prepare the ingredients & make the sauce:

While the rice cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; separate the leaves. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Peel and halve the onion; small dice 1 half and thinly slice the remaining half. Place the sliced onion in a small bowl with half the vinegar. To make the sauce, in a separate small bowl, combine the soy glaze and remaining vinegar; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the aromatics:
3 Cook the aromatics:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the diced onion, white bottoms of the scallions and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Wipe out the pan.

Form the meatballs:
4 Form the meatballs:

Add the ground pork and breadcrumbs to the bowl of cooked aromatics; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 16 equal-sized meatballs.

Cook the meatballs:
5 Cook the meatballs:

In the pan used to cook the aromatics, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Add ¼ of the sauce and ¼ cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, occasionally spooning the sauce over the meatballs, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly reduced in volume and the meatballs are thoroughly coated. Remove from heat.

Plate your dish:
6 Plate your dish:

Place a few lettuce leaves on each plate; fill each with the sticky rice, pea shoots and meatballs. Top with the pickled onion. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side. Garnish with the mint and the green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Cook the rice:
1 Cook the rice:

In a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt and ¾ cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 11 to 13 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside in a warm place.

2 Prepare the ingredients & make the sauce:

While the rice cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; separate the leaves. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Peel and halve the onion; small dice 1 half and thinly slice the remaining half. Place the sliced onion in a small bowl with half the vinegar. To make the sauce, in a separate small bowl, combine the soy glaze and remaining vinegar; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the aromatics:
3 Cook the aromatics:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the diced onion, white bottoms of the scallions and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Wipe out the pan.

4 Form the meatballs:

Add the ground pork and breadcrumbs to the bowl of cooked aromatics; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 16 equal-sized meatballs.

Form the meatballs:
Cook the meatballs:
5 Cook the meatballs:

In the pan used to cook the aromatics, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Add ¼ of the sauce and ¼ cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, occasionally spooning the sauce over the meatballs, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly reduced in volume and the meatballs are thoroughly coated. Remove from heat.

6 Plate your dish:

Place a few lettuce leaves on each plate; fill each with the sticky rice, pea shoots and meatballs. Top with the pickled onion. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side. Garnish with the mint and the green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

Plate your dish:
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