Pork on “Lotus Leaf”


I often am smitten with a good recipe at my worst times.  I worked in my garden out back and the iris bed out front today.  I was so tired when I came inside I fell asleep watching TV in my favorite recliner.  It was already late when the hubs woke me up asking “Are you going to cook dinner or shall I order/pick up something for us?”.  I had thawed 3 small pieces of pork loin earlier in the day but hadn’t decided what I was going to cook for dinner yet.  A quick stir fry is usually what I do to pull off a fast, effortless meal.  This idea erupted in my head when I saw the fresh, small head of cabbage sitting right by the pork in the refrigerator.  So I proceeded iwth a dish I created some years back.

I understand the entire lotus plant is edible and is also used in Chinese medicines.  They say the tubers tastes a lot like sweet potato.  I’ve read they use the blossoms in cooking as well.  They do dry the slightly sweet leaves and sell them on-line.  I have read they tend to be aromatic when cooked.  If you have lotus flowers growing in a pond where you live, I would encourage you to use real lotus leaves for this.  Not being so lucky, I use outer cabbage leaves as a stand-in.  The shape is similar and visual impact is nice on th eplate.   Cabbage is also slightly sweet and is just so good in Chinese food!

We love this dish!  This dish may sound spicy upon first reading, but I assure you, it is not, as I don’t care for overly spicy food.   Many of you may want to increase the Sambal Oelek, in fact, or maybe double the jalapeno!  This dish has just a tingle of heat on the tongue (as written) and that’s all the heat I want.  A little bit of mashed cauliflower seasoned with a dab of Sambal Oelek chili paste really rounds the flavors out on this.

This recipe is suitable for Atkins Phase 2 and beyond as well as other ketogenic diets.  Omit the sherry and those on Atkins Induction can also enjoy this delightful concoction.


3 T. coconut oil (or your preferred oil)

9 oz. pork loin, trimmed of all fat, sliced julienne-style

3 T. total dry sherry or white wine

3 T. total low-sodium soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos

2½ finely shredded green cabbage

½ c. green onions, chopped (I used the white ends only)

1 large jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. sea salt

2¼-2½ c. butter-seasoned cauliflower mash

1 tsp. Sambal Oelek chile paste

½ small carrot, peeled, shaved into long thin strips

VARIATION:  Use lean beef instead of pork.

DIRECTIONS:  Place julienned pork in a bowl with 2 T. of the sherry and 1½ T. of the soy sauce.  Mix with your hands and let marinate about 10 minutes while you cut up the other ingredients.

Peel off 3 outer leaves of cabbage and dunk in boiling water for 2-3 minutes to slightly soften.  If you want to actually eat the serving leaf (which we do eat), cook them maybe 4 minutes.  Remove from water, drain on paper towel and set them on serving platter (mine, as you can see, are shaped like a giant lotus leaf, hence the recipe name).  Discard water.

In a small non-stick skillet, mix the leftover cauliflower mash with the tsp. of Sambal Oelek.  It will turn the cauli pink when uniformly stirred.  Turn heat on low and warm while you do the stir-fry.

In a heated wok, melt the coconut oil over high heat.  Add the julienned pork and stir-fry until it begins to brown.  Add cabbage, green onion, jalapeno, ginger and garlic to the wok and continue to stir-fry.  Sprinkle the mixture with the sea salt, add the strips of carrot you have made with a carrot peeler and stir a couple minutes to let the carrot slightly cook. Add the remaining tablespoon sherry and the remaining 1½ tablespoons soy sauce.

To serve, spoon 1/3 of the pink cauliflower ‘rice’ onto each leaf of cabbage and spread out a bit, leaving the dark edge of the leaf exposed.  Then spoon on 1/3 of the meat mixture on top of the cauli-rice mixture and serve your family and guests at once.  I found one of these filled me up like a tick, as we say in the South.  My husband did eat two.  I do eat the ‘lotus leaf’ or cabbage leaf bowls, too.   🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

439 cals., 26.7g fat, 13.93g carbs, 6.0g fiber, 7.93g NET CARBS, 23.3g protein, 1178 mg sodium

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