sweet & sour pork and spinach salad

ever since this recipe first showed up in food & wine over a year ago, it's been on heavy rotation in our house. the first couple times we enjoyed it as is - sweet & sour pork lettuce cups, the mixture rolled in butter lettuce - and we quickly learned that although delicious, it simply wasn't enough food to sustain all of us. so i started making variations - first lettuce cups topped with rice and then this, our favorite - sweet & sour pork with rice on top of baby spinach.

sweet & sour pork and spinach salad
adapted from food & wine 
30 minutes, serves 4-6

1 cup white rice
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon asian fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
zest & juice of one lime
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
6 ounces baby spinach
  1. cook the rice according to the package directions. set aside.
  2. while the rice cooks, make the meat mixture. coat the bottom of a skillet with vegetable oil and place over medium heat. add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. add the pork, turn the heat up to medium-high, and cook until browned, but not cooked all the way through, about 3 minutes.
  3. add the honey, fish sauce, and sesame oil and stir until combined. cook until the meat is cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  4. remove the skillet from the heat & stir in the lime zest and lime juice. season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. layer the salad: cover the bottom with a handful of baby spinach, then a scoop of white rice, about a quarter of the pork mixture, and top with scallions. serve hot.

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