I find eating with my hands so gratifying. I’m not sure whether it’s just that I don’t do it as frequently as perhaps I should, so I’m not used to the textural experience, or if it’s because it makes me feel like I’m doing something a little naughty. Either way, I love it. Try wrapping big, healthy lettuce leaves around juicy stir-fried pork tenderloin and vermicelli, and I think you’ll agree.
Peanut Pork and Vermicelli Summer Wraps (PDF)
Recipe 228 of 365
This recipe, inspired by one in the June 2006 issue of Gourmet Magazine, is relatively flexible: make it as is, or omit the peanut butter, or add an Asian chili sauce to the pork, for some heat. Serve wrapped in lettuce, as I do here, or pile the pork mixture over rice or just over chopped lettuce. And be sure to prepare appropriately: have all ingredients chopped before you turn on the stovetop.
TIME: 35 minutes
MAKES: 3 to 4 servings
2 small (50 grams each) packages vermicelli (bean thread noodles)
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
6 scallions (green and white parts), thinly sliced, then divided in half
1 pound pork tenderloin, chopped into 1/2” pieces
1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup bottled teriyaki sauce (such as Trader Joe’s Soyaki)
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
Asian chili sauce, such as sriracha, to taste (optional)
12 large lettuce leaves (Green Leaf, Red Leaf, Oak Leaf, or French Crisp work well)
Prepare the vermicelli according to package instructions. Rinse well with cold water after softening and set aside in a strainer to drip dry.
(This is what my package looked like:)
Heat a large skillet (or wok) over medium-high heat. When very hot, add the oil, then add the ginger, garlic, and half the scallions. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, then add the pork, and cook, stirring and breaking the pieces of meat apart, for 2 minutes, or until almost no pink remains. Add the water chestnuts and teriyaki sauce, and simmer until the sauce is very thick and caramel-like, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in the peanut butter, and season with sriracha, if desired. Stir in the remaining scallions.
To assemble, arrange a small handful of noodles and a few scoops of the peanut-pork mixture inside a lettuce leaf (along the spine of the leaf, so that when you roll it the spine doesn’t break), and roll it up like a burrito.