San choy bao

San choy bao

Dinner Like A Boss
4 people
15 mins
Cooking time
6 mins
Benito Martin

San choy bao is a delicious Chinese dish, which is great to serve to kids – they can eat it with their hands, so no more arguments about holding cutlery properly for this meal! You can make it with either minced pork or chicken. There are many different versions of san choy bao, but I’ve kept mine as child-friendly as possible, with some optional extras for adults.


Quantity Ingredient
1 baby cos lettuce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
600g minced pork
or chicken, preferably free-range
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped, optional
5cm fresh ginger, finely grated
2 teaspoons white sugar
or brown sugar
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks about 5 cm long
75g beanshoots, trimmed
1 small handful coriander leaves, optional
lime wedges, to serve, optional


  1. Separate the lettuce leaves, then rinse and pat them dry. Place them on a plate and chill in the refrigerator until needed to keep them crisp.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan, then add the meat and garlic and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes until the meat just changes colour – if you are using chicken, cook it for an extra minute.
  4. Stir in the chilli (if using), the ginger and sugar, followed by the soy sauce mixture. Stir-fry for 2–3 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.
  5. Divide the mixture between the lettuce leaves and top with the carrot, bean sprouts and coriander leaves (if using). Alternatively, place all the ingredients on the table and get each person to build their own san choy bao. Serve immediately, with lime wedges if desired, and with lots of serviettes (napkins) – the dish can be messy to eat.
Family food
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