Easy San Choy Bow
This quick and easy pork San Choy Bow is one of my favorite simple dinners. Also known as yuk sung they are basically Chinese pork mince served in lettuce cups. They are super healthy, quick to make, and perfect hot or cold.
These Chinese lettuce cups are incredibly popular. Also known as san choi bao, sung choy bau and a host of other spellings. However you spell yours, they are all pretty much the same thing.
Why We Love It
Versatile – this recipe is for pork san choy bow, but you can just as easily use ground chicken, turkey mince, or make ground beef lettuce wraps. Whatever you have on hand will taste just as good.
Low carb and keto friendly – basically a seasoned pork mince in lettuce cups I have made this recipe specifically low in carbs. If you want to add more vegetables like baby corn, water chestnuts, carrot, or add rice or vermicelli noodles, go for it.
Quick & Easy – this is super quick to make. In less than 20 minutes from beginning to end this is a great meal for an easy weeknight dinner that everyone will love.
Scroll to the recipe card for the full list of ingredients to make these delicious Chinese lettuce wraps.
Sesame oil – found in both the sauce aisle and Asian foods aisle at most supermarkets. This oil has a strong flavor and aroma of toasted sesame seeds,
Onion – use brown, yellow or white onions.
Garlic cloves and fresh ginger – I use the fresh stuff but you can use ginger or garlic paste available in the refrigerated vegetable section of most supermarkets.
Chinese five-spice – a mixed Chinese spice available in the supermarket.
Ground pork aka pork mince – use an 80/20 meat and pork mix. You can use lean pork mince if you prefer. Chicken mince, beef, or turkey are all good too.
Gluten-free soy sauce – substitute oyster sauce, tamari, coconut aminos or Vegemite (yes it is amazing) for the perfect umami associated with Chinese cooking.
Spring onions and cilantro – are essential for me but if you hate coriander use fresh been sprouts or chopped flat leaf parsley.
Lettuce – butter lettuce, cos lettuce (romaine), baby gem or iceberg lettuce. You can use any lettuce for the wraps. In a pinch swap for cabbage, witlof, or silverbeet leaves.
How To Make Yuk Sung
Step 1. Heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft. Add garlic, ginger, and five-spice. Saute for 1 minute until fragrant.
Step 2. Add the pork mince. Break the mince up with a spatula. Pan fry the mince until golden with crispy brown edges (only turn or stir every minute or two to give the meat time to brown and go crispy).
Step 3. Add the soy sauce and stir through.
Step 4. Fold the green onions through. Spoon into lettuce cups. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and squeeze over the lime juice.
There are so many ways to vary this recipe for san choy bow.
Vegetarian San Choy Bow – swap the pork mince for finely chopped mushrooms. A mixture of mushrooms and onion is perfect for a vegan lettuce wrap, and is still incredibly tasty!
Get saucy – some love a good sauce to dip the lettuce wraps in. Teriyaki Sauce, Gremolata, or Sweet & Sour sauce are all a fun choice. I reckon a really good (but not Chinese) sauce would be nuoc cham.
Extra garnishes can include roasted peanuts (for crunch) fresh bean sprouts, toasted macadamias, sliced water chestnuts or any fresh pickles would be perfect.
Protein – make beef lettuce cups, chopped shrimp (prawn) san choy bow, or even fresh fish or ceviche lettuce cups. Serve with my amazing Protein Chips crumbled over top.
FAQs and Hot Tips
There is no difference between the two. They are traditionally pork mince served in lettuce cups. while some ingredients may vary from recipe to recipe they are the same dish.
Yes, you can. Swap the mince for any riced vegetables, or finely chopped vegetables. Or use firm tofu in place of the pork mince.
You sure can. Just freeze the leftover mince in an airtight container. It can be packed in a lunch box to defrost before serving. The lettuce cups are suitable to freeze though.
More Quick & Easy Salad Recipes
- Kafta (Lebanese Beef Kebabs)
- The Best Keto Taco Salad
- Taboule Salad
- Keto Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Lemon Yogurt
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Easy San Choy Bow (Yuk Sung)
- 2 tsp (2 tsp) sesame oil
- 0.5 (1 tsp) onion
- 2 cloves (2 cloves) garlic finely minced
- 1 tbsp (0.25 small) ginger finely chopped
- 1 tsp (1 tsp) Chinese five-spice
- 500 g (1 lb) pork mince
- 1 tbsp (1 tbsp) gluten free soy sauce
- 2 spring onions finely sliced
- ½ (0.5) bunch coriander chopped
- cos/romaine lettuce & lime wedges to serve
Optional – roasted peanuts or almonds to serve
- Heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft.2 tsp sesame oil, 0.5 onion
- Add garlic, ginger, and five-spice. Saute for 1 minute until fragrant.2 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp ginger, 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
- Add the pork mince. Break the mince up with a spatula. Pan fry the mince until golden with crispy brown edges (only turn or stir every minute or two to give the meat time to brown and go crispy.500 g pork mince
- Add the soy sauce and stir through. Fold the green onions through. Spoon into lettuce cups. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and squeeze over lime juice.1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce, 2 spring onions, ½ bunch coriander, cos/romaine lettuce & lime wedges
- Add sesame oil, onion, garlic, and ginger to mixer; cook 4 min/100°C/reverse/speed 1/cap off.2 tsp sesame oil, 0.5 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp ginger
- Add five-spice and pork mince; cook 11 min/100°C/reverse/slowest speed/cap off. Break up any clumps of meat with a spatula if needed.1 tsp Chinese five-spice, 500 g pork mince
- Add soy sauce; cook 2 min/100°C/reverse/slowest speed/cap off. Fold the green onions through. Spoon into lettuce cups. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and squeeze over lime juice1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce, 2 spring onions, ½ bunch coriander, cos/romaine lettuce & lime wedges