2 tbsp. peanut oil
1 pound ground pork
1 to 2 Thai chiles or to taste, whole or chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 large or 2 small shallots, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. minced ginger
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp. fish sauce, or to taste
2 tsp. sugar
1 head Boston bibb lettuce, leaves separated
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced with vegetable peeler, or cut into matchsticks
1 to 2 carrots, thinly sliced with vegetable peeler, or cut into matchsticks
1 small bunch mint, leaves removed
Hot sauce, for serving (optional)
Heat large fry pan over medium high heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add ground pork, cinnamon and cumin, Thai chile, and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add shallot, garlic, ginger and cook, stirring occasionally until pork is cooked and mixture is dry, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Taste and adjust seasoning, diluting with water or adding more sugar to sweeten.
Arrange lettuce leaves on a plate or platter. Top with cucumber, carrot and meat mixture. Finish with lots of mint leaves. Serve with hot sauce.
Yield: 4 servings