Lemongrass pork lettuce wraps with grilled pineapple
I usually avoid any fruit that’s not local or in season, but the tropical fruit section of the grocery store was emitting a heady fragrance, and tempted, I bought a pineapple. I cut it open and slurped up a piece: juicy, sweet, with a perfect bromeliaceous acid balance. It wasn’t as good as fresh-from-the-plantation in Fiji, but it was pretty fucking good. No elderly upside-down cake would do this beauty justice – fuck a Better Homes and Gardens. I really wanted to eat it with meat.
I took stock of what we had in the fridge, and decided Vietnamese would be the best course of action: we had some pork, sweet/hot Chinese sausage, bún tàu (bean threads), Đồ Chua (pickled, julienned carrots and daikon), a head of greenleaf and some cilantro. Lettuce wraps are easy and healthy, which would be a nice change of pace from two-day planning and hours-long prep. This was a weeknight, for fuck’s sake.
I marinated the pork (thinly sliced), sausage (cut on the bias) and pineapple (cut into “fingers” haha, get it? cuz my finger’s all fucked up?) in a mixture of pineapple juice, smooshed lemongrass and grated ginger, fish sauce, chili paste (sweet and garlic), a splash of rice vinegar and a splash of rice wine, and a goodge of hoisin sauce. Hot grill pan for a split-second sear and you’re good to go. I deglazed the meaty fond off the grill pan with the marinade for a tasty dipping sauce.
You could wrap these in rice papers or just enjoy it on a bed of rice vermicelli (instead of the bean threads), but this is a fun way to eat.