Seven Spice Pork Lettuce Wraps

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

You can size up these patties to make full-on pork burgers, but I prefer smaller ones to wrap in tender lettuce and dip in a garlic-laced soy dipping sauce. Be careful not to compress the meat when forming the patties; they should just hold themselves together. Leftover dipping sauce can be served over rice or stir fried with leafy green vegetables as a side dish.

Seven Spice Pork Lettuce Wraps

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About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4 (makes about 8 wraps)
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:20 minutes
This recipe appears in: Spice Hunting: Seven Spice Powder (Shichimi Togarashi)

Ingredients

  • For dipping sauce
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • For pork patties
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon seven spice powder (shichimi togarashi)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 8 butter or Boston lettuce leaves

Procedures

  1. 1

    Combine all ingredients for sauce and set aside at room temperature while preparing pork.

  2. 2

    In a bowl, combine sesame oil and seven spice powder. Add pork and gently fold spice oil in, taking care not to overwork or compress meat. Gently form meat into eight 2.5-ounce patties and liberally sprinkle with kosher salt on one side.

  3. 3

    Heat a heavy skillet, ideally cast iron, on high heat for several minutes, or until a drop of water immediately sizzles in pan. Swirl in neutral oil and add pork patties, salted side down. Liberally salt other side of patties and let cook undisturbed for several minutes, until a dark crust forms, before flipping. Cook patties until just no longer pink in the center, 10 to 11 minutes, and set aside to rest.

  4. 4

    To serve, wrap each patty in a lettuce leaf and pass dipping sauce at the table.

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