Wednesday, September 2, 2015

San Choy Bau / San Choy Bow

I often hear my Aussie friends loving san choy bau...

Like the deep fried spring rolls, they reckon that san choy bau is also the food that they should order whenever they dine in any typical Chinese restaurants. Cute! - LOL!

Cute? Well, you know most Chinese like us don't order deep fried spring rolls and san choy bau whenever we dine in Chinese restaurants and I reckon that these food are specially designed for Aussie diners to order... kind of like the supply and demand of theory.

For my curiosity, I did a Google search with the words "san choy bau" or "san choy bow" with the settings of any countries and the top hits are all Australia-originated!!! See!!! I told you...

Although I can safely say that san choy bau is an Aussie-influenced dish, I can't say that san choy bau is never Chinese or delicious. Like my Aussie friends, I like san choy bau too because it is truly made lots of Asian flavours. Best of all, and it is a healthy and refreshing dish and can be served as starters or light meals for all occasions.

Here, I like to share with you a delightful way of cooking san choy bau at home using a beautiful recipe from the book, Courtyard Kitchen by Natalie Boog.

Chicken San Choy Bau Bow
Chicken San Choy Bau
First, I grated the ginger and minced the garlic.
And I cooked them in a heated pan.
And I cooked the mince, breaking up the lumps until golden-browned.
While cooking, I prepared the rest of the ingredients.
Chop chop chop ...
When the minced is cooked, add these sauces plus the capsicum and the water chestnut.
Instead of 60ml (1/4 cup), I have reduced the amount of soy sauce to 2 tbsp and this amount of saltiness is just right for us.
Cook until the sauce is slightly reduced.
Remove from heat and mix in the coriander.
To serve, I need to trim an iceberg lettuce into cups and rinsed the leaves in iced water.
Place adequate amount of mince on each lettuce cups and EAT!

Beautiful, isn't it?

Although I was brought up in a way that I have never seen san choy bau serving in the Chinese restaurants in most Asian countries, I still can fully appreciate this Chinese-inspired dish like most Aussie do.

It is fresh, honest, healthy and beautiful!!!

As this is part of my review of the book, Courtyard Kitchen by Natalie Boog, I'm sorry that I have agreed to the publisher that I can't publish the recipes in this book in this book review.

In any case, if you really really really wish to cook this dish, do read my post in details, you will see that you can actually cook this dish without a written recipe as I have fully illustrated the process of cooking this beautiful dish very thoroughly to you. *wink*

If you like to know more about Natalie Boog and her book, I love to tell you more...

Courtyard Kitchen by Natalie Boog

Natalie Boog is a an experienced food photographer who has shot many cookbooks and magazine. She is also a self-taught home cook and her recipes are tried and tested, simple and full of flavour.

In this book, there are more than 80 inspiring fresh food recipes based around 9 different herbs and fruits that we can easily grow at home. Natalie has also shared great practical hints and tips for selecting the right plants for our space and cooking and how to maintain the plants throughout the seasons.

As I was selecting several recipes to cook from the book, I noticed that this book can serve us well for all seasons as the recipes range from the warm and comforting kind of winter food like rack of lamb with herb crust, basil meatball soup, lamb stew and chilli chocolate molten pudding to the cheerful and refreshing kind of summer food like herbed hamburgers, tabouleh, strawberry fizz, barbecued prawn and skewer crispy chicken with lemon sauce. If you are one of the waistline-conscious person like me, you won't want to miss the healthy and low fat lemon fish recipe.

Knowing that these flavoursome and wholesome food can be made by the freshest ingredients that you grow at home, I can't help to ask myself... Isn't this best of everything?

After using the coriander leaves to cook this dish, I'm salvaging the roots to grow more of these herbs for more cooking... Let's hope that they can grow well in Spring.

Do you wish to equip yourself with all the useful gardening information and recipes in the book, Courtyard Kitchen by Natalie Boog for this Spring season? If you do, you may wish to know that this book is available now at the retail price of AUD$39.99 in most retail or online book shops.

Before ending this post, I like to thank Murdoch Books for giving me this opportunity to do this review. I like to make a disclaimer here that I'm not paid to do this and like to share my most honest opinions with everyone who read this review.


  1. I thought you want to make "sang yok pau", as I see "sang choy pau", thought they are the same.. I've eaten similar stuff, but don't have so much meat in it like yours.. I've eaten "ju hu char" wrapped in lettuce with some minced meat, but not as much minced meat as your one.. Wah, your one nice, can LOAD with meat inside, hehe..

  2. Love these low-carb bau! I had it in Chinese restaurant here before but didn't know that it has Autrallia origin. Thanks for the information.

  3. I like san choy bau! But prefer beef over pork :)

  4. I like this dish Zoe! My family will love it too because it has meat hahaha! Good way of making them eat vegetables :P

  5. This is so tasty & healthy ... I can eat lots of this San Choy Bau !

  6. This has always been my favorite...but its been a while I had it...u r tempting me it

  7. Zoe, this is a good way to eat for people who want to cut down on carbs, My auntie made something like this too, just like popiah filling but eaten with lettuce. I like it very much.

  8. I don't think I've ever had this before! Not something I typically see on a restaurant menu where I live. So I'll just have to make this -- and enjoy its Aussie roots! Good stuff -- thanks.

  9. yumm , maybe I will try with chicken version, looks very nice and light little meal

  10. This is something I order from PF Changs each time I go! Looks so delicious...

  11. Ahaha! I swear I've seen this before Zoe but definitely on tv cooking shows or in some cook book, definitely not something my mom's made at home. That filling would make a great spring roll actually! I would totally make this but in a smaller size for a dinner canape!

  12. I was brought up eating something similar, Zoe - with many variations. This is lovely. :D