Hunan-style pork and beans in lettuce cups

We’ve enjoyed this fragrant pork dish a couple of times, really deep flavours and great fun to eat, use your fingers and roll the mince in the lettuce.

2 tbsp sesame oil
400g minced pork
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
20g (approximately 4cm) fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 red shallots, finely chopped
120ml shaoxing rice wine
100g green beans, trimmed and cut into 2cm lengths
1 red bird’s eye chilli, thinly sliced
1 tsp belacan shrimp paste, roasted
1 tbsp dried shrimp
3 tbsp gula melaka (see below)
3 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
40ml lime juice
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch freshly ground white pepper
12 baby cos lettuce leaves
300g palm sugar, grated
300ml water
2 large strips dried mandarin peel
1 cinnamon stick, broken
Combine all the gula melaka ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by about half and the consistency is syrupy. Set aside to cool. Store in a jar. Gula melaka will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
Heat a wok over high heat, add the sesame oil and stir-fry the pork for 2 minutes until brown. Add the garlic, ginger and shallots and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Pour in the shaoxing rice wine and cook for 1 minute until evaporated and the pork is crumbly in texture. Next add the green beans, chilli, shrimp paste and dried shrimp and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the gula melaka and cook for 1 minute. Season with the vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper and mix well. To serve, transfer the pork to a large serving bowl and serve with the lettuce leaves.

Making the Gula Melaka

Ingredients waiting for adding, shallots and limes

Dried prawns, shrimp paste and chillies

The finished pork dish


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