Kid approved San Chow Bau – quick and easy midweek meal

San Chow Boy

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It is a scene that could be in any household across Australia with young kids. The dreaded crazy hours or “witching hours” from about 5 pm to 7 pm. If you are not organised with a meal idea sometimes it can all get too hard very quickly. The kids are having tantrums and having meltdowns left right and centre – everyone is exhausted after a long day and usually you have to try and fit in making dinner in amongst this chaos.

This was my house this week and being school holidays, everyone is that extra bit emotional and tired. I had a brain wave of cooking up a quick and easy dinner – San Chow Bau and thought the kids would love it because they usually love anything eaten with hands (tacos/wraps etc). Keep reading to see the quick ingredients I threw together from my fridge and pantry for my own style San Chow Bau that the kids demolished and had several serves! Kid approved!!

San choy bau has so many variations on spelling and the recipe too also so varied with many different ingredients. It is a classic Chinese dish that traditionally is made with chicken or pork mince that is flavoured with sauces and uses water chestnuts in the recipe. The cooked meat mixture is then placed in iceberg lettuce cups and rolled up to be enjoyed.

What I loved most about this meal was the versatility and substitution. If you don’t have all the ingredients it is ok!  Some of the recipes I read online needed water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, vermicelli noodles, well my pantry didn’t have any of those, so I made up the recipe below. My own version of San Chow Bau based loosely around the recipes and what was in my fridge and pantry.

My San Chow Bau ingredientsMy San Chow Bau Recipe

  • 750 g beef mince (any mince could be used though)
  • Peanut or sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 brown onion (you could replace with shallots but we didn’t have any in the fridge!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • A teaspoon of ginger
  • Dried onion flakes
  • Approx 1-2 tablespoons of soy sauce (to your liking)
  • Approx 1-2 tablespoons of Oyster sauce
  • Half a capsicum
  • A heap of mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • Half a lettuce

MethodEnjoying Dinner

  1. Preheat fry pan with oil
  2. Chop up the onion and garlic and fry in the pan. Add the ginger and fry together for a few minutes and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the mince and begin to brown.
  4. Dice the carrot, mushrooms and capsicum it small pieces (or blitz in your food processor!)
  5. Add the sauces to the pan.
  6. Add the diced vegetables and dried onion and cook for a few minutes on a low heat.
  7. Wash the lettuce and remove layers of the lettuce carefully so they stay in once piece as “cups”.
  8. Fill the lettuce cups with the San Chow Bau mixture.

We would love you to leave a comment if you try this recipe!

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