Crispy Thai Pork with Cucumber Salad
The crispy bits are the key to this pork’s deliciousness. Use a wide, flat spatula for the best effect.
- 1/2 English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 red or green Thai chiles, with seeds, thinly sliced, divided
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, divided
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (such as nam pla and nuoc nam)
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 2 heads Bibb lettuce, leaves separated
- Steamed white rice and lime wedges (for serving)
Toss cucumber, shallot, 1 chile, and 1/4 cup lime juice in a medium bowl; season with salt and set cucumber salad aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and remaining chile and cook, stirring, until garlic is just beginning to turn golden, about 30 seconds. Add pork, season with salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up with a spoon and pressing down firmly to help brown, until cooked through, browned, and crisp in spots, 6–8 minutes.
Add broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar and cook, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of skillet, until liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes. Mix in remaining 1/4 cup lime juice.
Toss basil, cilantro, and mint in a medium bowl. Serve pork with herbs, lettuce, rice, lime wedges, and reserved cucumber salad alongside.