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5 from 1 vote

Quick Pork San Choy Bow

The secret to the perfect san choy bow is getting the texture of the pork mince right. To achieve the small granules of fried pork and therefore a larger surface to which the spices can stick, 'mash' the pork with a balloon whisk during frying to break it down into small chunks. While I've listed some of the ingredients as optional, they will add to the authentic texture and flavour. You could also add some corn kernels to the mix and use other mild-flavoured mince such as chicken or turkey.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 4 people


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

To serve:

  • 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.

To serve:

  • Top each cup with mince, a generous helping of chopped spring onions and sesame seeds.


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 reserved oil in a little bowl as an optional "dressing" as it will have retained many of the flavours.
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