Pork Patties for Chinese New Year


Pork Patty Lettuce Wraps

 Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.

Happy Chinese New Year-Year of the Dragon 2012

Any reason to celebrate is my motto and here is yet another opportunity, Chinese New Year, so a simple Asian Style dinner is what I’m up to today, pork patties in lettuce wraps served with crispy noodles, peanuts, mint, cilantro, and a couple of dipping sauces.  You can change the amounts of seasonings and herbs to suit your taste, but I keep to the lighter side as I make some highly seasoned dipping sauces to go with the wraps.  As for the dipping sauces, I like a zesty lime and cilantro style and my husband would probably prefer something rather plain in a lighter soy sauce dipping sauce.  Of course if you have a favorite ready-made or some from a local restaurant, go ahead and use what you like.  Try looking around for a PF Chang’s dipping sauce recipe as well or a Vietnamese style sauce.

To about ¾ of pound cubed pork I added:
3-4 cleaned  green onions, halved and chopped
¼ red onion, finely diced
½ teaspoon sesame oil
*Optional ½ teaspoon garlic chili sauce
Juice of ¼ lime and some grated zest
1-2 teaspoons parsley
1-2 teaspoons cilantro
1-2 teaspoons mint
A little grated ginger
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Freshly ground pepper

With the addition of fish sauce, the pork blend has enough salt.  Blend ingredients and form into small patties, grill patties for about 5 minutes on each side, but test center for doneness as different sized patties will have different cooking times.

Serve on a platter piled with clean and dried Boston or bibb lettuce leaves, julienned carrots, sliced green onions and *optional crispy rice noodles. Choose your favorite dipping sauces to go with the lettuce wraps.  I have fragrant jasmine vegetable rice and baby Bok Choy for sides…

Sample Dipping Sauce
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup finely grated carrot
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)*
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce*

PF Chang Style Dipping Sauce:

* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
* 2 tablespoons ketchup
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
* 2 tablespoons chili sauce
* 1 tablespoon Chinese hot mustard powder plus 2 tsp water (to taste)