This is one of those very quick and tasty dishes with plenty of room for creativity with the filling – I have even used kangaroo meat for this and although quite a strong flavour, it worked well with plenty of water chestnuts, chillies, and mung bean sprouts. This is also an ideal recipe for vegetarians.

San Choi Bao




1-2 large iceberg lettuce washed and seperated into leaves
1 Splash Sesame Oil
500 g mince (pork, chicken, veal or turkey)
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp Ginger, finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1 Red chilli, finely chopped and seeds removed
1 tin water chestnuts
3 tbsp Oyster sauce
3 tbsp Soy sauce
Chinese Rice wine
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onions


Heat about a tablespoon of sesame oil in a wok or large pan over a high heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and the mince. Stir continuously to incorporate and break up the mince.
Once the meat has browned add the soy and oyster sauce. Bring miture to the boil, and reduce to a syrup consistency. Check for seasoning. Remove from heat and toss through the spring onion and water chestnuts.
To serve, spoon meat into lettuce cups. Alternatively, serve the meat in a bowl with the iceberg cups on the side.

For a vegetarian option, used tofu, mushrooms or lentls instead of meat. Vegetarian oyster sauces are also readily available in most shops these days.