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Dorothy Dean presents: Crispy pork and cucumber salad is a tasty, simple and quick meal to prepare

UPDATED: Mon., March 23, 2020

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

After having a long, busy day, the last thing you want to do is slave away in the kitchen prepping and making dinner.

Meals that are simple and quick –and at the same time tasty – are a must-have in your recipe arsenal.

This Asian-inspired dish is just that.

With little prep and less than 10 minutes of cooking time, this crispy pork with cucumber salad is easy to make and full of vibrant flavors.

Cucumbers, cilantro and mint tossed in a sweet soy ginger sauce make up the refreshing salad.

It’s paired with crisp and caramelized ground pork that’s cooked with garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and seasoned with lime juice, soy sauce and brown sugar.

The texture and flavor are phenomenal: crisp and crunchy, sweet and salty and with that savory hint of umami.

The caramelized brown bits of pork really make this dish. You’ll be eating them right out of the skillet … well, I was at least.

You also can use ground chicken, beef or turkey. For a vegetarian version, substitute diced semi-firm tofu.

It can be served over rice or alongside lettuce cups as wraps – and just double the recipe if you’re serving more than two people.

Green onions, fresh basil and crushed peanuts or cashews are tasty additions.

And to kick up the heat, I finish it with a drizzle of Sriracha. But more red pepper flakes or a chopped red chili can be added to the pork when cooking.

Crispy Pork with Cucumber Salad

Adapted from

2 teaspoons brown sugar, divided

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated, divided

2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided

1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped

1 tablespoon oil

1 pound ground pork

Kosher salt


3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)

For serving:

Rice, white or brown

Lime wedges


In a medium-size bowl, add 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1/2 tablespoon ginger and 1 tablespoon soy sauce and whisk to combine. Then add the cucumbers, cilantro and mint and toss to coat. Cover and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork, season with kosher salt and pepper and cook while breaking up the meat. To help brown and crisp up, firmly press down the pork with a spoon or spatula. Continue cooking until cooked through and crispy in spots, 6–8 minutes.

Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of ginger and toss to cook for 1 minute. Stir in 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon fish sauce (if using).

Serve the pork over rice, topped with cucumber salad, along with lime wedges and Sriracha if desired.

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