“Do You Talk Thai?” – Spicy Pork Salad (Laarb)




I love lettuce wraps as much as the next person. I’ve done another version of them with my Thai Turkey Wraps, but today’s recipe is much simpler. While I use a meat grinder to mince my own pork, you can simply buy ground pork, or sub it for any other ground protein of your choice.

Search out lime leaves and Thai chiles at your local Asian grocer, and be creative with other ingredients. You could easily double or triple the amount of mushrooms to help balance the carbs.

However you choose to do it, I recommend preparing this dish for weekly prep, a picnic or a potluck. It serves well at room temperature and would be great accompanied by fish sauce, Sambal and fresh herbs for garnish.

Get out there, give it a try, and prove to yourself that “You Talk Thai!”

“Keep It Paleo!” my friends.

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

Hands in with the Lasagna crew at Power Monkey Camp.

Spicy Pork Salad (Laarb)

Ingredient List:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 8oz. button mushrooms, sliced
  • 8oz. Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ yellow onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, pulled from stems
  • Water, as needed
  • 3-5 Thai chiles, adjust quantities and remove seeds according to desired heat level
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, stem removed and chiffonade (for garnish) (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lime plus ½ lime for garnish

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the onions and mushrooms and stir to coat with oil. Add a bit of water and cook for 1 minute, stirring regularly.
  2. Season pork with fish sauce, then add to the mushrooms and onions. Stir to incorporate and cook until the pork has released its moisture and that moisture has reduced to nearly dry.
  3. Add Thai chiles, maple syrup and fresh basil. Fold in; adjust seasoning with lime, fish sauce and maple syrup.
  4. Cut the heat, plate it up and garnish with lime leaf chiffonade, whole chiles and lime.

“Keep It Paleo!”

Zone Breakdown:

Protein: (18)

We have 2 pounds of ground pork. Before cooking this weighs about 32oz so after cooking it cooks down to about 27oz. With 1.5oz of ground pork equaling one block, that gives us 18 blocks of protein.

Carbohydrates: (4)

Our carbs in this recipe are a little lower but we are still getting a fair some. We have a total of 16oz of mushrooms. About 10oz of mushrooms equal just over 4 cups which is also equal to one block, so with 16oz, we are going to say that we have 1.5 carb blocks from the mushrooms.   Additionally we get half a block from the ½ onion that we are adding. We also get 1.5 blocks from the maple syrup as 2 teaspoons equal one block and we know there are three teaspoons in a tablespoon. Finally we are adding 3-5 Chiles depending on the heat desired. We are going to add an additional ½ carb block for the peppers added to bring the total carb count to 4.

Fats: (18)

Our 2 tablespoons of olive oil are adding 18 Fat blocks to the recipe.   One block euals 1/3 of a teaspoon and there are 3 teaspoons in one tablespoon bringing the total count up to 18. 

Balancing Act:

The protein and fats balance out however the carbs are a little low, so make sure you are adding some carbs to this to bring the count up to balance it all out.


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