Nothing compares to the flavor of meat the day it was ground, and grinding meat at home allows you to choose your own flavors. Studded with heady aromatics, these super-fragrant patties are a great way to upgrade your go-to fried rice recipe. Make a stop at your local Asian grocery for stalks of fresh lemongrass; their fresh, sharp flavor is far superior to the pastes you’ll find in most supermarkets.

February 2019


Credit: Victor Protasio

Recipe Summary test

1 hr 10 mins
2 hrs 40 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Toss together scallions, lemongrass, salt, sugar, lime zest, and garlic in a bowl.

  • Trim and discard any skin (leave the fat) from pork shoulder and fatback; cut into 3- x 3/4-inch strips. Toss pork strips with scallion mixture; cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. Follow these instructions for grinding pork mixture through step 6.

  • Shape ground pork mixture into 12 (2-inch) patties. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Working in batches, cook patties until well browned and no longer pink in center, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet; let rest 5 minutes.

  • Stack 2 lettuce leaves to form a cup; repeat with remaining leaves. Place 2 patties in each lettuce cup with matchstick carrots, mint, cilantro, and nuoc cham.


If asking your butcher to grind meat, substitute 1 1/4 pounds 70% lean ground pork for pork shoulder and fatback.