If you’re looking to elevate dinner and your tastebuds, these lemongrass pork meatball lettuce wraps are it.
They’re a different take on the classic lettuce wraps but just as delicious!
The soft and crisp butter lettuce is a nice little vessel to get the lemongrass pork meatballs into your mouth and the bed of rice vermicelli noodles that the meatballs sit on gives it additional texture and fill.
Oh, and the sauce that is drizzled on top is our favorite sauce when we go to Asian restaurants and order spring rolls/eggrolls.
I swear I can dip in that sauce all day.
Can you make the meatballs with another kind of meat?
Pork would be the best here but you could use ground chicken although it may kind of dry.
Ground turkey would be another alternative.
I would stick to white meat if you were going to sub out the pork.
Can you use another kind of lettuce?
Bibb lettuce would work and even romaine.
Do these have to be lettuce wraps?
No, you can put them on a bowl of rice and have them as rice bowls instead of lettuce wraps.
Or you can eat them with a salad!
Or a noodle bowl!
I don’t like lemongrass.
Maybe try another recipe.
Is there a substitute for lemongrass if I can’t find it?
Lime would be an alternative but lemongrass is such a distinct flavor that the flavor of this dish may be altered if you use just lime.
I typically find lemongrass at Asian markets or Gourmet Garden sells lemongrass paste in a tube and lots of stores I know carry Gourmet Garden.
Can I use another kind of rice noodle?
If you can’t find rice vermicelli noodles, you can try angel hair pasta even though that’s totally not on brand, haha but thin noodles like angel hair and vermicelli would do best!
Is this spicy?
How would I make this more spicy?
Add spicy garlic sauce into the meat mixture or into the sauce.
If you like the flavors of lemongrass in a recipe, these recipes would delight you:
- Curry lemongrass chicken noodle bowl
- Lemongrass pork burgers
- Instant Pot Thai lemongrass chicken
- Seared scallops with coconut lemongrass sauce
Lemongrass Pork Meatball Lettuce Wraps
Servings are adjustable but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings.
For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 tablespoons lemongrass paste (or if using fresh, two tablespoons smashed and finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- Kosher salt
For the dipping sauce:
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2-3 teaspoons sambal oelek (or more if you like it spicy)
- Small handful matchstick carrots
For the remainder of the dish:
- 2 ounces cooked rice vermicelli noodles
- 12-15 butter lettuce bibbs
- Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
- In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs (minus the lettuce). Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least one hour. It can marinate up to 24 hours, as well.
- While the pork is marinating, make the dipping sauce and set aside.
- Additionally, cook the rice vermicelli noodles according to the package instructions, drain, and let cool at room temperature.
- Once the pork has finished marinating, form into meatballs with a medium cookie scoop or eyeball the size with your hands (about two tablespoons worth of meat).
- Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil to the skillet once the skillet has heated up then add the meatballs in batches. You don't want to overcrowd the skillet.
- Brown all sides then cook until meatball is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and repeat until all meatballs are cooked.
- To assemble, take a bibb of lettuce then place a little amount of noodles into the lettuce cup. Add two meatballs then drizzle sauce on top. Repeat until all lettuce cups have been used and no more meatballs remain.
- Serve and enjoy!