Monday, June 6, 2016

Vegetarian Mushroom and Ginger San Choy Bow - It's good for you and tastes so good!

"This is the best warm salad that I ever ate!" said my husband who is well-known for being brutally honest and fussy with details. I'm sure some of our Aussie friends and family will laugh when they read this because my husband is real fussy and was given a Mr Men: Mr Fussy book for a Christmas before... LOL!

Are fully convinced now that if my husband said that this humble salad is good, it must be real good?

"Do you know that there is no meat at all in this salad?" I just want to confirm if my meat-loving husband might have a second thought of this salad when he realises that the salad is actually meat-less and vegetarian.

"I know... but I still like it!" said my husband as he continued to enjoy his salad and my eyebrow rose. LOL!

My son? He wasn't saying anything as he was busy munching his dinner.

What is in this salad? And why is it so delicious???

I called this vegetarian mushroom and ginger san choy bow... The Masterchef Mushroom Salad - LOL! because the recipe is from the book, Quick. Easy. Healthy. Good Food Every Day by Callum Hann 
and Themis Chryssidis. Remember Callum? He is the runner-up of MasterChef Australia series 2 and Themis is a dietitian who runs run Sprout Cooking School in Adelaide with him.

vegetarian mushroom ginger san choy bow
Vegetarian Mushroom and Ginger San Choy Bow by Callum Hann and Themis Chryssions

"We don't believe in health products, 'superfoods', 'diets' or strict eating plans... we believe that learning to cook helps build healthy habits and a better understanding of what we are putting into our bodies." said Callum and Themis in their recently published book, Quick. Easy. Healthy.

Thumbs up!!! I totally like Callum and Themis's perspective of food. This is why every recipe in this book has a nutrition information panel to show us the energy, protein, sugar and salt that is consumed in each serve of the food that we cooked or baked with this book without comprising any taste and pleasure of enjoying our food.

For instance, if I follow this recipe exactly, each serve of this san choy bow contains 791kJ (189 cal), 10.1g protein, 205mg sodium, 10.2g fat, 1.4g saturated fat, 10.3g carbohydrate, 6.5g sugar and 8.9g fibre. What are these values??? The introduction part of this book explains the nutrition aspect of the food that we need to eat in terms with correlation of these values.

Knowing these values, I can see that this recipe has been cleverly designed! This version of san choy bow is cooked with moderate amount of salt, fat, carbohydrate and sugar for a good taste and yet enriched in its protein and fibre content for our good health. Delicious and healthy! I'm certain that I will cook this again.

For the benefits of your good health and your love for good food, I would love to demonstrate how I cooked this wholesome vegetarian mushroom and ginger san choy bow and this is what I did...

Before cooking these mushroom and ginger san choy bow to serve 4 person, I suggest that you need to do some shopping first and these are the items that you need to buy:

800g mixed mushrooms
1 thumb-sized ginger
1 long red chilli
4 garlic cloves
2 handful coriander leaves
One 225g tinned water chestnuts
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
130g bean sprouts
4 spring onions
1 small baby cos lettuce
sesame seeds

And so I bought these:

300g button mushrooms, 150g oyster mushroom and 330g Enoki mushroom
Here's the ginger, garlic and long chilli.
Water chestnut and hoi sin sauce
Bean sprouts

Notice that I forgot something? I always thought that we have coriander growing in our garden but they were gone! Then my son told me that Daddy and he had to remove them because they had change rapidly from leafy to seedy during departed Summer. Ai yai yai... No coriander for our san choy bow!!!

Next, I washed and prepared these ingredients... 

Although the recipe didn't say that we have to do anything to the bean sprouts, we being Chinese can never eat sprouts without removing their roots and blanch them and this is exactly what I did!
All ready! It's cooking time...

Heat 1 tsp oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Although the recipe says that I have to cook the mushrooms in two batches, I prefer cook them according to their varieties because different types of mushrooms has different amount of water content and texture and will require different cooking time. And so I cooked and stirred the three different types of mushrooms separately until they are slightly soften or/and lightly browned.

Due to the fact that the oyster mushrooms have more water content than button mushrooms, there will be a lot of water released when I cooked the oyster mushrooms. Not to worry... Just remember to cook the oyster mushrooms with high heat until the liquid evaporate, then the mushrooms will brown beautifully.
Due to its highest water content, it is impossible to cook enoki mushrooms until they are lightly browned and so I just sauté them very quickly for 2-3 mins
Without washing the pan, next I cooked these.
You can cook the coriander stems and chilli with the ginger and garlic but I didn't do it because 1) I don't have any coriander and 2) I will add the chilli later as I need to remove a portion of non-chilli mushroom mixture for my son first.
Return the mushrooms (plus chilli) into the chestnut mixture.
Remove from heat and stir in the bean sprouts.

Wait wait wait... Before I removed my cooking from the heat, I had to taste it first... It was a little plain to my taste and so I added about 1 tsp light soy sauce to taste. This step is not mentioned in the book and can be totally optional if you prefer your food to be less salty.

While cooking the mushrooms, I roasted about 1 tablespoon of white sesame seeds to deep golden brown.

Now, I'm all ready to serve...
Place 2 lettuce leaves on each of four plates to serve.
Divide the mushroom mixture among the lettuce leaves.
Top the mushroom mixture with thinly sliced (sliced on an angle) spring onions, sesame seeds and coriander leaves (if available).
vegetarian mushroom ginger san choy bow
Time to eat!
Mmmm... This is so good!

"What is in this salad? And why is it so delicious???" My husband kept asking me.

"I have seasoned it with just 2 tablespoons hoi sin sauce and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. That's all." I said and my husband's eyebrows rose... LOL!

This is Quick. Easy. Healthy. Good Food Every Day.
A healthy good food cookbook written by Callum Hann, runner-up of MasterChef Australia series 2 and his friend, Themis Chryssidis
There are more than 70 recipes in this book and the recipes are divided into seasons.

For summer ...

There is this healthy fish tacos with guacamole recipe that I really love to try.
There is this bright and cheerful dessert to indulge.
Guess what? Comparing with a typical serve of vanilla ice cream at here, each serve of this dessert contains a lot less fat (2.4g), unfortunately about the same amount of sugar (18g) and yet a lot more protein (5.3g) and fiber (3.3g).

For Autumn ...

There is interesting!!!
This light and fluffy 'no-prove' pizza base is amazing! It is made with flour and yogurt and doesn't require any extra time and effort to knead and prove.
I didn't think that tarts are healthy??? Only if I bake the tart with minimal amount of pastry and maximal amount of fruits... Regardless, this tart is such a great fuss free last minute comforting autumn dessert to impress...

For now, our winter ...

I'm using this winter recipe to cook warm mushroom san choy bow as demonstrated above.
... and happy to know that we are eating something that well nutritionally balanced :)

Yes that I like this book! ... because its recipes can make fuss free food that are so fresh, honest, tasty and healthy. To me, the well explained nutritional information that is neatly presented at the end of every recipes is a bonus!!! ... because it makes me feel like I'm cooking and serving the right kind of food for me and my family. Having said that, I like to mention too that the book is not totally perfect... In the midst of my cooking, I have noticed that some steps of this recipe are actually not well elaborated and might be difficult for amateur cooks who are lack of day-to-day cooking skills to execute. Not to worry if you want to cook this dish because I have added my personal tips into my above demonstration :)

Nevertheless, if you like this healthy good food cookbook and want to buy it, you may wish to know that it is available in most retail or online book shops selling at the retail price of AUD$39.99.

As this post is specially written to review this book, I'm sorry that I have agreed to the publisher that I can't publish the recipes in this book in this post. However, if you really wish to cook this fresh and warming vegetarian mushroom and ginger san choy bow for you and your family, please read my post in details, you will see that you can actually do it without a written recipe as I have fully illustrated the process very thoroughly to you. *Hint*

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.

Happy Cooking
Please support me and like me at Facebook...


  1. That looks so yumm...the crunch of lettuce with all that awesome flavour it

  2. Hi Zoe, I would love to have this vegetarian salad too! Looks delicious!

  3. What a great looking salad! I'd be right with your son, happily munching away. :-) Sounds like a great book, too. Thanks!

  4. Hands down this is a super delicious vegetarian dish! Yum!

  5. Hi Zoe, if you have too many cookbooks and are looking to donate some away, I'm first in line ..haha! ^.^ What an amazing dish this is. Healthy and satisfying.

  6. Hi Zoe,
    My kinda vegetarian salads .. love the fresh and yummy bite of these wrapped salads :)