This pork yuk sung is an absolute dream dinner. It's easy and only takes 30 minutes, it's healthy and full of Asian flavours and makes the best pork lettuce wraps ever.
With recipes like 15 minute crispy chilli beef, lemon chicken and crispy beef in oyster sauce on the website it's easy to see that I absolutely love Asian flavours. So often the recipes are quick and easy, full of flavour with fresh elements like lime juice, coriander and cucumbers and are perfect for leftovers, too.
This pork yuk sung is essentially pork mince that's been pan fried until crispy then tossed with a mildly spicy black bean sauce. Served in lettuce cups it fits the bill for some lighter dinners after a busy holiday season. I don't usually make a special point of dieting after Christmas, but often I just find myself wanting something lighter and healthier.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This yuk sung is lean and packed with protein. The pork has only 5% fat.
- Takes less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish.
- Bold flavours that are fresh and light
- Can be served in a lettuce cup or over rice or noodles
- lean pork mince (ground pork)
- brown onion
- fresh garlic
- fresh ginger
- large carrot (or 2 medium)
- bell pepper
- dark and light soy sauce
- black bean sauce
- Chinese 5 spice
- cider vinegar
- chilli peppers
- dry roasted peanuts
- green onion
- lettuce leaves
See the recipe card for quantities.
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1 & 2
- Heat the oil (vegetable or olive will work) in a cast iron skillet or a non stick frying pan.
- Brown the pork until its deep golden and crispy. Add in the Chinese 5 spice, onion and garlic. Don't worry about the pork looking a little too crispy at this point. We want to build the flavour and it wont stay dry once we add in the sauce.
Step 3 & 4
- Once the pork mince is cooked add in the carrot and the chopped pepper. Pour the sauce in and mix everything well.
- Continue to heat the pan for another 2-3 minutes just to make sure everything is hot. We want the carrot and pepper to retain some texture and bite.
Step 5 & 6
- Once the yuk sung is hot make a quick peanut sauce *see the recipe card below- It is optional, but very worth it and it only takes about 2 minutes to mix up.
- Place the washed and dried lettuce leaves on a board (or plate) and place the chopped peanuts and peanut sauce. Serve the pork yuk sung along side and let everyone help themselves.
Hint: Wash and dry the lettuce leaves before you get started cooking the pork. Use this salad spinner to make sure that the leaves stay intact and get dried really well.
Substitutions and variations
This Chinese style pork mince is perfect for a keto diet because it's served in a lettuce cup. But there are a few substitutions that you can make to change it all up weather you follow a low carb diet or not.
- Lettuce - instead of the soft round lettuce you can use gem lettuce. I prefer round lettuce leaves because they can hold more pork!
- Rice - you can serve this over rice if you'd live something with some carbs. It's absolutely amazing served over a bed of fluffy basmati.
- Chicken or turkey - you can absolutely trade in the pork for some turkey or chicken mince if you prefer. And you wouldn't have to make any changes to the recipe at all.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. It can also make a big difference to how enjoyable your cooking experience is. Although these pork lettuce wraps don't require a lot of equipment here's a list of the exact things I've used to get the best results.
Cast iron skillet- I absolutely adore this pan. I've wanted one for a long time but had no idea just how much I would use it! ALL. THE. TIME! This three piece set is such amazing value for money.
Microplane- The perfect tool for grating garlic and ginger. Clean, easy and quick.
Large measuring jug- perfect for mixing and measuring sauces into.
- The pork freezes like a dream for up to 3 months. Which actually makes it perfect for meal prep.
- The lettuce can be prepped at the beginning of the week and stored in the fridge wrapped in a damp paper towel.
- Peanut sauce keeps really well for about 2 weeks, so you can make a double batch to drizzle over noodles, grilled chicken or any other Asian foods you make. Store in a clean jam jar or other similar air tight container.
I'm gonna say it again because it's really important. Let the pork cook until it has a deep golden colour and is crispy. This will add so much flavour. Too often mince pork, chicken and turkey are not cooked enough and they have a pale colour and no flavour. The pork will get rehydrated in the sauce. We want to cook all the moisture (usually water) out of the meat and replace that with sauce! Don't be afraid of the heat!
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Pork Yuk Sung- Mince Pork
- 500 g (2 cups) pork mince *see notes
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
- 1 (1) brown onion, sliced
- 1- inch (1- inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
- 3 cloves (3 cloves) garlic
- 1 (1) large carrot, finely diced
- 1 (1) bell pepper, any colour diced
- ½ (½) lime, juice only
- 1 tablespoon Chinese 5 spice, (or more depending on your taste)
For the sauce
- 120 g (4 ¼ oz) black bean sauce
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) dark soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon (½ teaspoon) cider vinegar
- 2 (2) spring onions
- dry roasted peanuts, chopped
- 2 (2) limes cut into wedges
- 1 (1) round lettuce of 2 baby gem
- ½ (½) bunch coriander
Peanut sauce *see notes
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) soy sauce
- ¼- ½ teaspoon (¾ teaspoon) chilli sauce like Sriracha or similar
- Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot (it will shimmer) add the pork mince to the pan breaking up with a wooden spoon. Once the pork is starting to turn golden, add in the onion, garlic, 5 spice, and ginger. Continue to brown until the pork is a deep golden and the ginger and garlic are fragrant.
- While the mince is browning, make the sauce in a small bowl or measuring jug. Pour the black bean sauce into the bowl and whisk in the light and dark soy sauce. Mix in the cider vinegar and stir to combine the sauce well. Pour the sauce into the pan and mix to coat all the pork. Add in the diced carrot and bell pepper. Bring the sauce to a quick simmer and remove from the heat. * See notes
- To make the peanut sauce simply whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and add some water a tablespoon at a time until you have a drizzling consistency.
- Spoon some pork mixture into the lettuce cups and drizzle with the peanut sauce and top with chopped peanuts, sliced green onion and some chopped fresh coriander. Serve with extra limes on the side.
- Brown the pork really well rather than going for anaemic pork. As it starts to turn a deep golden brown it may start to look dry, but don’t worry. It gets rehydrated with the sauce.
- The intention is not to cook the carrot and pepper all the way through, but to leave them with some texture keeping the whole dish tasting fresh.
- The peanut sauce is optional but it really helps to add another dimension to the pork. I just completely understand that you may not always have the time and energy to get it done.