Chinese Minced Pork in Yellow Bean Sauce wrapped in lettuce leaves

I am not sure quite how authentic this dish is, but it combines some of my favourite Chinese flavours and feels quite celebratory. It is quick to make and impressive to eat. The star ingredient here is the water chestnut, something that add real crunchy texture to the dish.


1 pack of minced pork

2 tbsp of yellow bean sauce (this comes in a tin, an English jar style version doesn’t really work)

1 leek, finely shredded two ways (into 3 inch strips and into ½ inch strips)

1 inch of ginger, finely grated

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 tbsp of rice wine

1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar

1tsp of cornflour, mixed in 3 tsp of water

½ small tin of water chestnut, chopped into ½ cm dice

1 carrot, chopped into ½ cm dice

4 tsp caster sugar

½ tsp sesame oil

1 tsp tomato puree

2 tbsp groundnut oil

3 baby jem lettuces. Cut the end off and separate the leaves

½ cucumber, chopped into 3 inch strips


Prepare and chop everything in advance; that is what takes time. Everything is then very quick to cook. Heat 1 tbsp of groundnut oil in a wok. Put in the mince and brown. Add the ginger, garlic, carrot and ½ inch strips of leek. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add the tomato puree and the rice wine and the vinegar, reduce by half, then add half the sugar and half the yellow bean paste. Add a couple of tbsp of water, cook for 5 minutes until it is caramelized. Add the water chestnut and the cornflour mix.  Cook until it is just boiled and shiny. Turn off the heat and add the sesame oil (this is a seasoning, not an oil to cook with).

Now prepare the dipping sauce. Add the rest of the sugar to the rest of the yellow bean paste, add the remaining groundnut oil and mix. You are ready. Put the strips of leek and cucumber on a plate. Pour the sauce into a small bowl. Put the mince pork in a bowl and the lettuce leaves on a plate. Make little wraps with them.

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