Expert Guide
Triple Pork Burgers with Quick Cucumber Kimchi
© John Kernick

Unlike ground beef, ground pork is a blank slate for adding punchy flavor. And because it’s fattier than ground turkey, it makes everything from meatballs to lettuce wraps super luscious. Here are 10 ways to use this unsung hero.

1. Burgers. Flavor ground pork with ginger, scallions and garlic, or lemongrass, herbs and fish sauce for stellar Asian-inflected burgers. Or go a totally different route and mix ground pork with bacon for burgers inspired by Southern barbecue.

2. Lettuce wraps. Cook ground pork with fish sauce, sugar, lime, garlic, shallot and chiles, then toss it with herbs and serve in lettuce leaves for a quick version of larb the spicy, punchy Thai salad.

3. Grape leaves. Use ground pork in a filling for Middle Eastern–style stuffed grape leaves.

4. Dirty rice. Make a simplified version of New Orleans dirty rice by adding ground pork instead of chicken giblets and sausage.

5. Pasta. Instead of braising a tough cut of meat for hours, add ground pork for a quicker ragù. Or make a meaty filling for fresh ravioli.

6. Dumplings. Whether you’re making pot stickers, soup dumplings or wontons, use ground pork for fantastic dim sum.

7. Noodles. Add ground pork for a decadent take on Thai curry, or to sweet-and-sour sauce to serve over noodles.

8. Clams. Pork with clams is a classic pairing in some parts of the world. For a Chinese interpretation, cook ground pork with clams before stirring in super-savory black bean sauce.

9. Meatballs. Whether Italian with ricotta, or Asian with kimchi and water chestnuts, make tender, juicy meatballs with ground pork. 

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