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Ching's smoky Vietnamese lettuce wraps

Ching's once again showing us the healthy and light side of Asian food. This is a Vietnamese-inspired dish packed full of fresh ingredients that's, well, almost veggie and very versatile.

Ingredients1 tablespoon rapeseed oil6 smoky bacon rashers1 teaspoon fish sauce1 pinch of sugarJuice of ½ lime1 tablespoon rapeseed oil1 cloves of garlic, peel2 small shallots, peel1 stalk of lemongrass, hard outer leaves peeled off, discarded, roughly chopped1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped2 courgettes, top and tail, slice lengthways across, into julienne strips and into small 0.5cm cubes30ml of water1 tablespoon fish sauceJuice of 1 limePinch of caster sugarRaw cashew nuts

Pickle1 medium carrot, sliced into julienne using a mandolin, or sliced into strips1X10cm length of white turnip or daikon, sliced into julienne using a mandolin, or sliced into strips2 tablespoons rice vinegar2 tbsp mirinPinch of saltPinch of caster sugar

For Assembly and Garnish2 heads of Gem lettuce leaves, washed, leaves separatedLime wedgesCoriander sprigs


  • Heat a wok or pan, add 1tbsp rapeseed oil. Add the bacon, cook one side until golden and turn over. In a small bowl mix the fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice and pour into the wok. Cooking until the liquid has evaporated. Remove and chop the bacon into small dices.

  • In a small food processor, add the garlic, shallot, lemongrass, and chilli. Pulse until finely grated consistency – not too fine.

  • Heat the same wok or pan, add the remaining rapeseed oil, then fry the paste for a few seconds to release the aroma. Stir in the courgettes and cook stirring for a few seconds. Add a small splash of water to help create some steam to cook the courgettes.

  • Return the bacon and season with the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar mixture. Toss well and add in the cashew nuts.

  • For the pickle: Mix the carrot, daikon, vinegar, mirin, salt and sugar together

To serve: Arrange the gem lettuce leaves on a serving plate, spoon the filling onto each. Garnish with the pickle, lime wedges and coriander and serve.

Note: Can be served as a warm salad: Spoon the filling mix onto a tray and let the filling mix come to room temperature, tear the gem lettuce and serve on large salad dish, spoon the ingredients over the top and dress with garnish and serve immediately.

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Weekdays 9am