Spicy pork lettuce cups recipe or lettuce wraps recipe | @whiteonrice

Spicy, tomato tangy, savory ground meat. It has become one of the WORC household’s staple instant meal accessorizers.

The zingy muse came from Korean rice cakes. The spice, the touch of sweet, the savory drool inducing rice cakes are highly addicting. Ever hit Momofuku’s Ssam Bar in New York and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Spicy pork lettuce cups recipe or lettuce wraps recipe | @whiteonrice

With that in mind, I started sautéing up my own concoction. Cooking by taste, touch, and smell I came up with this magic meat. I’ll use whichever ground meat I jonesing for, from ground pork to beef to chicken to turkey. Lamb would probably rock too, I just haven’t tried it yet. Grab Diane’s uber tasty chili sauce from the fridge, some tomato paste, garlic, shallots, fish sauce and green onions. Oh yeah, and a little sugar to sweeten the deal and diner is a breath away from being done.

Spicy pork lettuce cups recipe or lettuce wraps recipe | @whiteonrice

After the meat is done, we’ll toss it over rice, if we happen to actually have rice cakes they go great, or toss it up with some noodles. Pile a bunch on some bread with some pickles and it makes a great Asian style sloppy joe. The variations are endless.

But to put an end to this post, here is one variation which is great for a party. Toss the meat mix with some Asian noodles then swirl up the coated noodles onto lettuce cups and top with Thai basil and serve. Double delicious.


*Disclaimer- This recipe isn’t based off of any actual Korean recipes. The Korean dish was and inspiration and this is what we created based off that inspiration.

Spicy Pork Lettuce Cups

Total Time20 mins
Servings: 4 Servings


  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil (we prefer grape seed, peanut, or canola oil)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely diced Shallots or Sweet Onions
  • 2 Tablespoon crushed Garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 1 1/2 lb ground Pork
  • 2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Sauce (we use our house made chili sauce) (more or less to spiciness preference)
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 4 Green Onions , sliced in 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 lb cooked Noodles (your preference - rice noodles, egg noodles, soba noodles)
  • 1 head Butterleaf Lettuce , washed and separated
  • 5-6 stems Thai Basil


  • Heat large sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil and shallots and cook until soft (1-2 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Add ground pork and increase heat to medium high. Brown meat, stirring occasionally to break up meat and help it brown evenly.
  • Add fish sauce, tomato paste, sugar, chili sauce and water to meat and stir to combine. Add green onions and cook for another 30 seconds or until green onions soften slightly.
  • Toss cooked noodles with meat mixture.
  • Put about 1/4 cup of noodle/meat mix in each lettuce cup. Garnish with Thai Basil.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!