San choy bau

San choy bau is such a light and delicious dish that is healthy, super quick to make, full of delicious flavours and a great alternative to takeaway! Served in crunchy lettuce leaves, it also has that novelty aspect which makes it appealing for the kids – my little one loves it!

I am not 100% sure of the precise Asian origins of san choy bau – my ‘research’ has given me lots of conflicting information, including how I am supposed to be spelling it (!!), but I know that Perth, Western Australia is definitely NOT it! So I am holding my hands up saying that this is a western take on the dish, with no assurance of authenticity! It is delicious though, and my recipe has some extra veggies in to make it more colourful, and healthier for the family.

As a side note, you can adjust the heat of this dish to your liking. Because Evelyn will generally eat this dish when I make it, I don’t have any chilli in the mince recipe, instead opting to add chilli and hot sauce as garnish when I serve up my dinner. If you are making for adults, you could definitely add some chilli / hot chilli sauce to the mince recipe as you cook it for some extra heat.


1 tbsp olive oil
500g pork mince
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
3 shallots, finely sliced
juice from one lime
100g snow peas, topped / tailed and finely sliced
100g red capsicum finely sliced
handful of coriander, washed
red chillis, finely sliced (optional)
Approximately 1/2 iceberg lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
hot chilli sauce (to serve)

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 big adult serves 



Separate the leaves of your lettuce, wash and allow to dry on a tea towel until you are ready to serve.


Heat oil in wok and fry the garlic and ginger until soft and fragrant.


Add the pork mince and cook until browned.


Add the oyster sauce and the soy sauce and stir through.


Add the shallots, the lime juice and the sesame oil and stir through. Allow to simmer in the wok for 2-3 minutes with the lid on to allow the shallots to soften.


Next, add the snow peas and the capsicum and stir through. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes to soften slightly.


Add half of the coriander and stir through.


Taste and adjust seasoning as required – if you need some more seasoning you can add salt and pepper or a dash more soy sauce / oyster sauce.

Serve up spoonfuls of the mince mixture into the washed and dried lettuce leaves. Serve with fresh coriander, chopped chilis and a drizzle of chilli sauce, if desired.





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