What the kids eat in… China

Actually, I suspect more folks outside of China might actually eat this dish. But let’s not worry about pesky facts and just enjoy this delicious messy mass of tasty goodness. I did try to research the origins, but perhaps it’s one of those ‘from everywhere’ dishes with no particular source, although I did see claims of origin from Thai to Cantonese to the good ol’ USA. One cute internet fact (and maybe even true) is that the name translates as ‘lettuce delights’, which sounds so lovely!

I got thinking about this dish after my 14-year-old niece whipped up a version at a recent family get-together. At 14 I could melt cheese onto corn chips in the microwave, she can whip up a meal for 12 people. Very impressive stuff. The kids LOVED having her cook for them and ate up every little morsel. So I’m naming this dish in her honour.

Apparently teenagers aren’t necessarily too fussed on vegies either, so I’ve built on her recipe quite a bit, smuggling in a stack load more vegies. Use iceberg lettuce to wrap the mixture up as tightly as possible. The result is hot/cold/crunchy and absolutely delicious. Just keep a washer handy and lettuce delight indeed…

Chicken mince in sang choy bow

Lettuce delights for your munching pleasure

Sarah’s sang choy bao

2 tbsp shao hsing wine
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp corn flour

Lettuce leaves (iceberg or cos both work well)
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 onion, finely diced
500g chicken mince
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
4 green onions, finely sliced
225g tin water chestnuts, drained, finely diced
1 cup mushrooms, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled, grated
125g can corn kernels

Combine all of the sauce ingredients together and set aside. Carefully remove whole lettuce leaves, wash and drain on clean tea towels.

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium/high heat. Add the onion and stirfry for 3-4 minutes until translucent and turning golden.

Add the chicken mince and stirfry until it changes from pink to white. Break up lumps as you go to ensure there are no hidden raw bits.

Add the garlic, ginger, green onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms, carrot and corn. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until the green onions are tender and the mushrooms are nice and soft. Pour the sauce over the top and stir-fry for another minute or two until everything is piping hot and cooked thoroughly. (NOTE: if you are making this to reheat later, leave everything slightly undercooked)

Spoon -1 cup quantities of mixture into the lettuce leaves, wrap up carefully and enjoy!

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7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    monkey&blossom said,

    Absolutely delicious! I forgot to buy a lettuce though (oops), so I just prepared some vermicelli, stirred it through and we had it as a stirfry.

  2. 3

    becky mcclure said,

    Made this the other day, My 4 year old LOVED picking up the lettuce cups! she even asked for her ham sandwich the next day to be made in a lettuce cup! And hubby and i loved it. made some rice with it too.

  3. 4

    Lisa said,

    Just enjoyed this for dinner with hubby. Will be trying it on the fussy toddler tomorrow night after kindy. Love the rice and noodle suggestions too as I found the iceberg lettuce a little hard to separate without tearing. My son loves crunch so hopefully the lettuce cups will be a big hit though!

  4. 5

    Lucinda said,

    Made this for my 3 girls (7,5,5) who are notoriously picky when it comes to vegetables and meat. They (and my hubs) loved this! It tasted great! I have just come back from a trip to Thailand and I told them all it was “Thailand Food”, they even asked to have it tomorrow night. Thanks! What a win!

  5. 6

    Jodi said,

    I grabbed a packet of pre-diced veges from the fresh section at Woolies and used that with a small can of corn. So easy and quick. Perfect for days we get home late and need dinner in a hurry. The hardest part was getting the darn lettuce leaves off! Next time I will try with a packet of fresh Singapore noodles and double the sauce.

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