Recipe video above. One of my favourite starters at Chinese restaurants, the ultimate (almost) carb free healthy dish of all time! It all comes down to the Sauce - with a great Sauce, you can change up the filling to your taste. I've copied the filling served by Chinese restaurants but feel free to substitute with other vegetables or make it entirely meat free (this is a great recipe to make vegetarian).
100g/ 3.5ozcanned water chestnuts,drained and finely chopped (Note 4)
5baby corn,canned or fresh, finely chopped (Note 4)
5mushrooms,finely chopped(shiitake is best, I used Swiss Brown)
8leaveslarge or 16 - 20 small lettuce, preferably soft(Note 5)
Finely sliced scallions / shallots
Mix cornflour with 1 tbsp water until lump free. Then add remaining Sauce ingredients and mix.
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and ginger, give it a quick stir then add onion.
Cook for 1 minute then add pork. Cook pork until it turns white.
Add all the vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes until the carrot is softened and pork is cooked through.
Add Sauce and cook for 1 1/2 minutes or until it thickens and glossy, coating the Filling.
Transfer Filling into serving bowl. Lay out lettuce leaves, peanuts and scallions on the side.
To serve, spoon some Filling into a lettuce leaf. Top with peanuts and scallions, bundle it up and enjoy!
1. Light soy sauce adds the salt and the dark soy sauce adds a touch of colour. You can sub the dark soy with more light soy sauce, or just sub both the light and dark with ordinary soy sauce. The filling will just be a bit lighter in colour. Don't just use all dark soy sauce - flavour is way too strong - or with a thick sweet soy sauce like kecap manis.2. Chinese cooking wine - sub with Mirin or dry sherry. For a non alcoholic option, use chicken broth/stock (low sodium) in place of the Chinese wine AND water in the Sauce.3. Protein - Also great with chicken but I prefer pork because it's not as lean and has slightly more flavour. Chinese restaurants typically use pork. Never seen it with beef or lamb! Can also sub with 2 1/2 cups of chopped veggies of choice.4. Water chestnuts - see in post for image. These are a key ingredient in San Choy Bow as served at Chinese restaurants here in Australia, but can be skipped. They have a natural light flavour, but it's the texture that is unique - a fresh crunchiness.Nowadays these are sold in both the Asian and canned vegetable section of major supermarkets.5. Lettuce - Typically served at Chinese restaurants using crisp iceberg lettuce leaves which are cut into neat rounds so they are all the same size. My preference is to use soft lettuce leaves like Butter Lettuce or Bibb Lettuce (US) because iceberg has a tendency to crack when rolled to eat, causing juices to run out. I used Baby Gem Lettuce in the photos which come in twin packs at Woolworths.6. Customise - I use 2 1/2 cups of chopped vegetables. You can substitute with whatever chopped vegetables you want, though I urge you to stick with the onion.The meat can be substituted with 2 1/2 cups of any vegetable or chopped firm tofu. For a super quick version, make this with pork + frozen diced vegetables. Works a treat!This recipe makes enough for 3 as a main (4 if it's 2 adults and 2 kids) or around 6 as a starter.7. Nutrition per serving, assuming 4 servings. This is a fantastic healthy dinner!* * Originally published February 2017, updated for housekeeping matters.