Miso ground pork stir fry with lettuce is a quick and delicious meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights. This dish combines savory ground pork with the deep umami flavor of miso and the refreshing crunch of iceberg lettuce. It’s a simple yet flavorful recipe that will make your taste buds dance.

You’ll be surprised that with only a handful of ingredients, this pork mince stir fry is full of flavor yet simple to make. If you’re looking to add new flavor and excitement to your dinner table, this is it!

An overhead close shot image shows a bowl of delicious ground pork stir fry with miso sauce and crisp lettuce served over rice.

ChihYu’s Notes

Ground pork is such a versatile ingredient in everyday Asian home cooking. In my memory, Mom and Grandma made at least one, if not more, meals using ground pork every week.

In this recipe, I’m using not only one but two interesting ingredients to bring new flavors and textures to your ground pork stir fry – miso and iceberg lettuce.

  • Miso: Inspired by Japanese Miso Meat Sauce (Niku Miso 肉味噌), miso is a quick and great way to instantly add flavor to mild pork mince.
  • Lettuce: Did you know you can stir fry iceberg lettuce? Yes, iceberg lettuce is not just for cold, boring salads. It’s surprisingly crunchy, crisp, and refreshing in stir fries. Plus, it’s super economical!

Trust me, this is a dish beloved in Asia, and there’s a reason why. Now, let’s get started!

Ingredients

Let’s take a look at the ingredients for our minced pork stir fry. We’re using only a few simple ingredients to create a super flavorful dish!

Photo shows how to season ground pork with simple ingredients.
  • Garlic: Adds a robust, aromatic flavor that enhances the overall taste of the dish.
  • Iceberg Lettuce: Provides a crisp texture and fresh contrast to the savory pork.
  • Avocado Oil: Used for sautéing; adds a mild, buttery flavor and is great for high-heat cooking.
  • Ground Pork: The main protein, offering a rich, savory taste and hearty texture.
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Curry Powder: Adds warmth and depth to the dish with its blend of spices.
  • Green onions: Adds a fresh, mildly pungent flavor and a pop of color for garnish.

For the Miso Sauce:

  • White or Yellow Miso Paste: Provides a deep umami flavor and a touch of sweetness.
  • Mirin, Japanese Cooking Sake, Dry Sherry, or Chicken Stock: Adds a slight sweetness and balances the saltiness of the miso.
  • Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos: Adds umami and saltiness, enhancing the overall flavor.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil: Contributes a nutty, aromatic essence to the sauce.
  • Potato Starch, Tapioca, or Arrowroot Starch: Helps thicken the sauce, giving it a smooth consistency.

Substitutions and variations

  • Different miso: I use white miso, which gives the sauce a savory-sweet flavor. Yellow miso (which is a mix of white and red miso pastes) is a good alternative. If you can only find red miso, be aware it might be too strong (and salty) for this dish.
  • Other proteins: In Asia (or Spain), it’s common to find a mix of ground beef and pork. Ground turkey or chicken also works, but use a mix with dark meat for the best flavor.
  • Veggie choices: Thinly shredded cabbage, diced Taiwanese cabbage, AA choy, Tatsoi, zucchini, and blanched broccoli florets are all great options. Just increase the cooking time for the vegetables.

How to prepare, season, and cook ground pork with miso

Ready to bring all these flavors together? Follow these simple steps to make your healthy ground pork stir fry. It’s quick, easy, and absolutely delicious!

Person demos how to prepare and cook ground pork.

Prepare and Season Ground Pork:

  1. Prepare: Finely mince the garlic and set it aside. Roughly chop the iceberg lettuce, rinse it well, and dry it thoroughly.
  2. Season: In a measuring cup, mix together the miso sauce ingredients: white miso, mirin, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and potato starch. Stir well.

Cook Ground Pork:

  1. Sauté Garlic: Heat a large wok or sauté pan over medium heat. Add avocado oil and minced garlic, sauté for about 5 seconds.
  2. Cook Pork: Add the ground pork to the pan. Use a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the pork releases moisture and starts to brown.
  3. Season Pork: Add coarse sea salt and curry powder to the pork. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes until the pork is browned and crispy.
Person demos what you can make with ground pork in stir fries.

Add Vegetables and Sauce:

  1. Add Lettuce: Increase the heat to medium-high and add the chopped lettuce. Stir-fry for about 90 seconds, keeping the cooking time short to retain the lettuce’s crispness.
  2. Add Sauce: Pour in the prepared miso sauce. Toss everything together over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds until well combined.

Serve:

  1. Garnish and Serve: Transfer the stir fry to a large serving plate. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve with rice.

TIP: It might not be popular in the West, but did you know that stir-fried iceberg lettuce is absolutely delicious? The trick is to pat dry the lettuce after rinsing and sauté these tender greens in a fairly fast manner. Use a large pan and keep the pan hot. One to two minutes are all you need. So timing and temperature are the key!

What types of miso should I use

There are three main types of miso available in Western stores: white (shiro), yellow (awase), and red.

  • Red Miso: Has the most concentrated flavor and a saltier taste.
  • White Miso: Offers a milder, more savory-sweet flavor.
  • Yellow Miso: Often a blend of red and white miso, making it quite versatile.

Unless you prefer a stronger, more distinct taste, white miso paste is a popular choice. I use white miso for this recipe, but yellow miso would work well too!

Miso paste storage: Miso is already fermented, so it lasts a long time in the fridge. Once opened, it should keep for 6 months to a year. Always use a clean spoon to prevent cross-contamination.

Make ahead, store, and reheat

  • Make-ahead and storage: This dish comes together fast. To make ahead, you can dice and rinse the lettuce and set it aside to drain. Make sure there’s no excess moisture before adding it to the stir fry.
  • Reheat: Reheat in a microwave on medium for 1 minute, stir, then microwave for 30 more seconds.
  • Freeze: Ground pork with miso sauce freezes well for up to 3 months. However, iceberg lettuce does not freeze well. If you plan on freezing this dish, I recommend either not adding the lettuce or using a different vegetable that is more freezer-friendly, such as thinly shredded cabbage like my Ground beef stir fry with cabbage recipe.

What to serve with stir fried ground pork with miso

Wondering what to serve with your ground pork meat stir fry? Here are some delicious options to complete your meal.

Plain Rice or Noodles:

Side Dishes:

Helpful tips

  • Dry the Lettuce: Make sure to thoroughly dry the lettuce after rinsing to prevent excess moisture in the stir fry. Pat it dry with a kitchen towel for best results.
  • Use a Hot Pan: Keep your pan hot throughout the cooking process to ensure the ingredients cook quickly and retain their texture. Timing and temperature are key!
  • Don’t Overcook the Lettuce: Stir-fry the lettuce for only 1-2 minutes to keep it crisp and prevent it from becoming watery.
  • Break Up the Pork: Use a wooden spoon to break the ground pork into small, even pieces as it cooks for a consistent texture.
  • Clean Spoon for Miso: Always use a clean spoon when scooping miso paste to prevent cross-contamination and extend its shelf life.
  • Invest in a Good Bottle of Miso Paste: It stores well in the fridge and is super versatile for making dressings, sauces, marinades, and more.

FAQs

Can I use ground pork like ground beef?

Yes, ground pork can be used similarly to ground beef. It adds a rich, savory flavor to dishes. Add a splash of Chinese cooking wine or Japanese mirin to remove the raw meat flavor.

Do you need oil to fry ground pork?

Yes, use a little oil to prevent sticking and enhance flavor. Avocado oil is a good choice.

What can I use instead of mirin?

You can use Japanese cooking sake, dry sherry, or chicken stock with a touch of sugar for sweetness.

More Asian ground pork recipes

Looking for more delicious recipes? Here are some related dishes that you’ll love. Explore these options and keep the flavors coming!

A side close shot shows miso sauce stir fried ground pork with lettuce over a bowl of rice.
A recipe image shows miso sauce ground pork stir fry with crisp iceberg lettuce served over rice.
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Miso ground pork stir fry recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: ChihYu Smith
Miso ground pork stir fry with lettuce is a quick, flavorful meal. Savory pork, umami miso sauce, and crisp lettuce make it perfect for busy weeknights. Simple and delicious!
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Ingredients 

  • 0.5 oz garlic, finely minced, 2 large
  • 14 oz. iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped, half of one large
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 0.75 lb ground pork
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • 2 bulb scallion, chopped

Miso sauce:

Instructions 

  • Prep: Garlic, lettuce, sauce: Finely mince the garlic and set aside ready to use. Roughly chop the lettuce and separate the layers. Rinse them a few times, drain, and rest over a large kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. In a measuring cup, combine the sauce from miso to starch. Stir well.
  • Stir fry: In a large wok or sauteing pan, preheat over medium heat until the pan feels warm. Add the oil and garlic. Quickly saute for 5 seconds then add the ground pork.
  • Browning: Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat into fine bites and cook pork over medium heat for 10 minutes. The meat will release moisture first before browning.
  • Season with salt and curry powder. Continue sauteing the pork for 3 more minutes or until they are perfectly browned and turn into crispy bits.
  • Add vegetables: Add the lettuce, turn heat up to medium-high. Keep scooping and tossing for 90 seconds. It’s important not to over cook the lettuce. Keep cooking time short or the lettuce will turn watery. Keep your pan hot and sizzling throughout.
  • Add miso sauce: Pour in the sauce. Toss everything together for 30 seconds. Transfer to a large serving plate. Garnish with scallions. Serve hot with rice.

Notes

  • I want this dish to be balanced between the ratio of meat and vegetables. The meat is used to flavor the dish, and you’ll notice there is more lettuce in the stir fry proportionally.
  • The texture and flavor of the dish are key – the ground pork is perfectly seasoned with warming spices and deep umami flavor from the miso. The iceberg lettuce stays crisp and tender.
  • It’s important to control the timing and the wok temperature – overcooking the iceberg lettuce will leak out excess moisture and not be as crisp because it’s a delicate vegetable.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 312kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 736mg, Potassium: 425mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 517IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Miso ground pork stir fry, Stir fried ground pork with miso
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