Yes, I am officially sick of meatballs. I’m not sure if it is because I didn’t like the turkey mince I bought from Coles (usually I get it from Woolworths)…but the last batch I made were dry and made me gag. I decided a needed something different and decided to make San Choy Bao (Savoury mince in lettuce wraps).
Traditionally, this is served as part of a 2 or 3 course Peking Duck dish in Chinese restaurants. Peking duck uses only the crispy skin, wrapped in thin flour pancakes and served with cucumber, special sauce (like hoisin sauce), spring onion with a crisp tasty, roasted duck skin…the meat is then carved off and served either with lettuce cups, or less common (in my opinion) with noodles. Sometimes, if you’re chummy with the restaurant, they would even use the bones remaining to make a soup… Mm…
These days, you see San Choy Bao in Chinese or Vietnamese menus and unless they sell Peking duck, it’s just savoury mince stir-fried (quite dry – no gravy) with some onions, maybe some mushrooms and sometimes some celery.
I made mine using only 4 ingredients…I was feeling meatball blues, so made these instead. Next time I make them, I would probably add more vegetables in it, maybe some finely (finely, finely!) chopped celery, some hydrated chinese mushrooms, some onions…it’s really all up to you. Try not to use large chunks of vegetables and the texture will be funny with the mince…also try to avoid capsicums or non-asian ingredients (I’m being a food bitch, I know).
With the lettuce, just take out the cups without tearing it, and assemble it by putting a couple of spoonfuls of meat mixture into the lettuce, top with fresh spring onion and some sesame seeds and eat!!
500g of lean chicken/pork mince (I don’t generally use beef in this recipe as beef has a stronger flavour)
3 tablespoons of oyster sauce (really to taste)
2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce (to taste)
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1. In a hot wok, put about 2 tablespoons of water into it (this means I don’t have to use any oil!!) and put in the mince. Brown the mince, ensuring that you break up the big lumps. Try not to brown it too long as it’ll get hard and nubbly – we don’t want that!
2. Add in the crushed garlic and continue cooking.
3. Add in the sauces, and stir fry – taste!
4. That’s it! You shouldn’t have to take too much time to cook this, stir fries are supposed to be quick and the heat hot!
Don’t forget, you can add more vegetables in!! And I’ll definitely be putting in more onions (probably only 1 small onion) or some celery (1 big stalk is more than enough). Perfect for a packed lunch (I pack my lettuce and my meat in separate containers) – people at work were eyeing my food in envy!! And it’s a sort of fun dish if you have friends over too.
Taste VERY fresh and light 😀