Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Easy Peasy Dinner: San Choy Bau

I am joining Emma again this week with an Easy Peasy Dinner Winner.

Chris (hubby) has always made this for us. I was scared it was too complicated to make as the ingredient list is so long. But last week, I gave it a go, and it really is so ridiculously easy (and yummy too) It was so quick, I had dinner on the table 30 minutes early.

San Choy Bau
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 long red chili, seeds removed, finely chopped (or use less if you have children who don't like food too spicy)
  • 500g pork mince
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine vinegar or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 lettuce or cos lettuce leaves (a note on choosing your lettuce: get one that is quite light in weight, I find the heavier ones difficult as the leaves are too tightly packed together. With the lighter ones, it is usually easier to separate the lettuce leaves with out damaging them)
Chop the middle stem out of your lettuce, as far down as you can, and put it in a clean bucket. Fill the bucket up with water until it covers the lettuce completely, let all the lettuce crevices soak up the water.

Weigh the lettuce down (I use a heavy porcelain bowl) This makes sure the whole lettuce is covered with water. The earlier you do this, the easier the lettuce leaves will come out intact.

I leave my lettuce like this for at least 30 minutes, if not longer. Then while the lettuce is still in the water, peel off, very carefully, the first few outer layers of lettuce leaves until you get down a few layers and they come off looking like little boats or cups. Try to get 6-10 good leaves, with no rips. My favourite ones are the tiny ones in the middle, as they are so sweet. Put you lettuce boats on a tea towel to drip dry, and very gently pat them as dry as you can.

Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large fry-pan over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, garlic and chili and cook stirring, for 1 minute or until slightly softened and fragrant.

Add the mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, cooking it for 2-3 minutes until browned.

Add the rice wine vinegar and cook for 1-2 minutes, them add soy sauce and oyster sauce, stirring well to combine. You can keep cooking and keep it warm for quite a while, as it is really quite saucy.

Toss the spring onions through, and transfer to a serving bowl.

Put in the middle of the table, and everyone can fill their lettuce boats/cups with some pork mixture, and eat. It can get a bit messy - but that is part of the fun.

This recipe does not feed us as a family of 4 any longer, as Abbey now loves it (after not liking if for 2 years!) and Zoe eats some too. We serve this with some sesame prawn toast (available in the freezer section at most supermarkets)



Recipe from: Delicious! magazine, July 2008, page 78.


  1. Thanks for joining in again Cat! I think I remember making mini ones of these as food for a party once and they were delicious - and we are always up for a bit of mess at this house! ;)

  2. Yum! i know my hubby would love this one so will definitely be making it!


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