San choy bau

San choy bau


71 people made this

This is a classic Chinese starter that is perfect if you are preparing an Asian-themed meal. It's a great one to choose if you are feeding children – they love the excuse to eat with their hands.

Zoë Harpham

Serves: 4 

  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 500g pork mince
  • 1½ tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 227g tin water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour, mixed with ¼ cup water
  • 8 iceberg lettuce leaves, washed and drained
  • 1½ tablespoons hoisin sauce

Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Ready in:25min 

  1. Heat the oil over a moderate heat in a wok or large frying pan, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the mince, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spatula, and cook for 5–6 minutes, or until the mince browns slightly. Meanwhile, combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl.
  2. Add the water chestnuts, spring onions and oyster sauce mixture to the wok. Toss for 1 minute before adding the cornflour mixture to thicken.
  3. If you like, trim the lettuce leaves with kitchen scissors to neaten them and to form a cup shape. Divide the mince mixture among the lettuce cups, then drizzle each one with a little hoisin sauce. Eat while hot.

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Reviews (5)


Really lovely. Thank-you - 14 Jan 2014


Yum! Whole family loved it- next time I would use kejap manis instead of regular soy sauce to add some sweetness. Thank you! - 26 Jul 2015


This is simple & delicious!!! I add equal portions of ginger to garlic and a bunch of chopped coriander at the end. Yummy!!! - 11 Apr 2014

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