This Quick Pork San Choy Bow recipe comes from my new e-cookbook, My Whole Food Philosophy.
Everyone loves good Chinese, myself included, and san choy bow is one of my all-time favourite starters. Serve the mince mix in tiny iceberg lettuce ‘cups’. The intermingling flavours of the meat, exotic mushrooms and oyster sauce are so delectable I can never stop at just one.
What type of mince can I use for San Choy Bow?
You can use any mild-flavoured mince for San Choy Bow. Pork, turkey or chicken mince work really well, but I have also made it with beef previously.
Getting the mince texture right with this trick
The secret to this is getting the texture of the pork mince right. You want to end up with small granules of fried pork and therefore a larger surface to which the spices can stick. To do this, ‘mash’ the pork with a balloon whisk during frying to break it down into small chunks. It’s that easy!
Notes for this San Choy Bow recipe
Now, it may look like a lot of ingredients and work, but the dish is quick to prepare. It’s MSG-free if you get the right sauces (avoid those containing flavour enhancer 621) and tastes very authentic.
If you are concerned about the amount of oil used in this recipe, place the finished mince mixture in a large sieve over a bowl and let the oil drain away. Serve the oil in a little bowl for those who like their san choy bow sauce dripping down their fingers as they munch on this delicacy.
I’ve listed a number of ingredients in this recipe as optional. Add them if you have them on hand for a more authentic texture and flavour. But they can be skipped. Substitute shiitake mushrooms for about 200g sliced regular mushrooms. You can also add some corn kernels to the mix.
Quick Pork San Choy Bow
For the San Choy Bow:
- 500 g pork mince
- 1/4 cup dried shitake mushrooms or 150g sliced mushrooms
- 220 g can of bamboo shoots optional
- 220 g can of water chestnuts optional
- 1/2 cup fried noodles optional
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp ginger powder
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 sprigs spring onion chopped finely
- 1 leaves iceberg lettuce cut into 10 ‘cups’
- sesame seeds and chopped spring onions
To make San Choy Bow:
- Soak shitake mushrooms in 1/4 cup boiling water.
- Roughly chop bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and spring onions, mince garlic.
- Mix peanut oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce in a jug.
- Heat sesame oil in a wok until very hot and add pork mince, broken into large chunks. Using a whisk, stir fry and ‘mash’ the pork until half-browned.
- Add garlic, spring onions, half of the oil and soy sauce mixture and continue mashing until all pork granules are the size of green peas, or smaller.
- Add mushrooms including half of the soaking water, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and the rest of the oil mixture.
- Stir fry for 5 minutes, before adding fried noodles. Mix well to combine.
To prepare the Lettuce Cups:
- Core out the lettuce and peel leaves off carefully.
- Trim to size using kitchen scissors.
- Top each cup with mince, a generous helping of chopped spring onions and sesame seeds.