CHAPMAN'S EAT MARKET, GRILLED PORK SHOULDER LETTUCE WRAPS
Special thanks to Chapman's Eat Market for sharing this delicious recipe with us!
We love this recipe because the final lettuce wrap is only two bites, but it is a flavor bomb! One of our cooks, Matt, lived in Vietnam for the past 4 years before moving back to Columbus to help open Chapman's, and his time spent there was a huge inspiration for this dish.
A few notes:
We have done most of these recipes by gram. If you don't already, getting a scale that is capable of weighing ingredients by the gram will up your accuracy and your home cooking game exponentially. We use Escali brand at Chapman's and you can normally find them for below $20.
There are a lot of ingredients that go into this appetizer, but most of the brines and pickles you will make are refrigerator stable and you can use them over again later on, or get creative and use them to create your own variation on this dish. We love ingredients that can be cross utilized: the pork brine for instance is also the exact same brine we use for our chicken wings.
Some of these ingredients are somewhat tough to find, but if you have an international grocery anywhere near you, most of these things are standard fare. We have a general rule that every time we need to make a run to Saraga, our local international market, that we have to buy one ingredient we've never heard of, and then we do research and cook with it, just to educate ourselves further. For those uninitiated to the international grocery store, it is an amazing place to learn and take in unique ingredients.
Grilled Pork Shoulder Lettuce Wraps
Makes 16 lettuce wraps
For the Pork Shoulder:
1 lb. Pork Blade Steak (or boneless loin chop)
10g. Coriander Seed
2ea. Lime Peel
2ea Whole Garlic Heads, cut in half width wise
1c Brown Sugar
400g. Soy sauce (we use Tamari)
200g. Fish Sauce (we prefer 3 Crabs Brand)
As Needed. Sugar and salt
In a Large pot, heat to medium and add the garlic, lime peel, ginger and coriander and warm through. You don't have to get color, your just trying to wake up the aroma of the ingredients.
Add all the other ingredients, except for the pork shoulder and fish sauce and heat to just below a simmer for 30 mins, or until all of the salt and sugar have dissolved.
Let cool and strain all of the solids out, so you are just left with the liquid.
Add fish sauce to the mix and refrigerate.
Once totally chilled, place the pork in an appropriately sized vessel and pour enough of the marinade over the pork to cover it by about 1/2". Refrigerate for 2 days, agitating it twice a day.
After 2 days, pull the pork out of the marinade, discard the marinade, and pat the pork dry with a towel, and let sit on a resting rack until you are ready to cook the pork.
To cook, heat your grill to high. Right before you grill the pork, sprinkle it aggressively with sugar (about 1Tbsp per side of pork), and season lightly with salt. Add to the grill and flip after 4 minutes. A nice, charred caramel should form on the outside of the pork. If it isn't charred, don't flip it yet, keep grilling until it is charred. Do the same to the other side.
Cook the pork until it reads 165* on the thermometer. Remove from the grill and let it rest on a clean rack for 15 minutes.
Slice the pork as thin as you can. You should be aiming for about 32 thin slices of pork.
For the Pickled Veggies:
1c. Rice Wine Vinegar
Slice all the veggies into thin strips, about 1" long and place in a mixing bowl.
Bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil, whisk and pour over the carrots and Jicama.
Let it cool down on your counter, agitating it often, and then put it in the refrigerator over night to cool.
For the Nuoc Cham:
125g. Fish Sauce
35g Fresh Lime Juice
50g. Rice Wine Vinegar
35g. Olive Oil
3ea. Thai Chilis
3 cloves Garlic
Mince the garlic and thinly slice the thai chilis, add to a mixing bowl.
In a pot, heat the vinegar and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Let cool.
Pour the cool vinegar mixture and all of the other ingredients over the chilis and garlic and refrigerate over night.
For the Mung Bean Noodles and Other Garnish:
1 packet. Mung Bean Noodles
1ea. English Cucumber
4oz Thai Basil leaves
4oz. Mint Leaves
8oz. Toasted Peanuts
32ea. Chives, at least 8" ea
3 heads of Bibb Lettuce
2ea. Limes, cut into wedges for juicing.
Bring 1 qt of water to a boil, add the mung bean noodles and kill the heat. Let sit for 6 minutes, then shock the noodles in ice water and reserve.
Slice the cucumber into 1" strips
Rough chop the basil and mint.
Chop up the roasted peanuts.
Blanch the chives in salted water. Shock in ice water. Lay them out straight on a paper towel and reserve.
Pull off whole leaves from the lettuce, and stack the biggest 16 leaves in a pile. You can use the remaining leaves at a later time.
For Final Plate up:
Strain your carrot and jicama mix and pat dry. Add the mix to a mixing bowl with your herbs and cucumber. Dress the veggies with your nuoc cham, just until well dressed. Give it a toss in the bowl, just to make sure its nice and mixed up, but don't over handle it, or you'll bruise the herbs.
Lay a chive across your cutting board and lay a leaf of the lettuce on top of it.
Add a small bundle of mung bean noodles to the wrap.
Add two thin slices of pork on top of the noodles. Make sure the pork isn't too hot, or it will wilt the lettuce.
Then add your veggies dressed in nuoc cham to that.
Garnish with toasted peanuts.
Pick up both ends of the chive and sinch the lettuce wrap together and tie the chive into a double knot.
Squeeze a little lime juice over the entire lettuce wrap.
Move the lettuce wrap to your serving plate, wipe your cutting board clean and repeat.