I loooove easy cooking. I can’t emphasise that enough. I love recipes that are easy to follow, are mostly made up of ingredients that would already be in my pantry or fridge, and don’t take forever to cook (or if they do, don’t require constant monitoring). I found a good recipe for san choy bow on bestrecipes.com.au that ticks all those boxes, and I have it bookmarked on my phone, so I can check the ingredients while I’m out grocery shopping and have it ready in 20 minutes.
Here’s my 15 min version of san choy bow, with ingredients I would normally have on hand. To speed up the prep time I throw the shallots and garlic in the food processor and blitz for 3-10 seconds. Then while the pork is browning I do the same with the capsicum and water chestnuts. I get that using my hand-held food processor is totally lazy (and means the onions or capsicum aren’t evenly chopped and can turn out a little mushy), but when there’s a toddler hanging onto my legs, begging me to abandon the stove and play him the ukulele instead, I do whatever it takes to make dinner prep easier. 🙂
Oh and if you’re curious, yes we sometimes feed this to my 1.5 year old. It’s on the salty side, so we only feed him a little (heavily diluted with other veggies and LOTS of steamed rice).
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 green shallots, finely chopped
- 500g pork mince
- 1 red capsicum, finely diced
- 1 x 250g can water chestnuts, diced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoon red rice wine vinegar
- 1 iceberg lettuce, leaves rinsed
- Optional: 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped roughly
- Optional: 1 teaspoon brown sugar (to level the saltiness)
- Combine oils in a medium frying pan on medium heat.
- Saute shallots and garlic for 2 minutes.
- Add pork mince and stir until brown.
- Add capsicum, water chestnuts, soy sauce, oyster sauce and red wine vinegar. Taste and add brown sugar if required. Lower the heat and simmer for 3-5 min (until sauce thickens).
- Stir in coriander.
- Serve inside iceberg lettuce cups.
The beauty of this dish is even if a million things go wrong, you can get by and it won’t be a complete disaster. Trust me, I’ve made it enough times to know. Take tonight, for example:
- I realised I forgot to buy shallots, so I used a brown onion instead. It altered the taste a little, but it was still fine.
- I don’t use coriander because my husband isn’t a fan, so I tonight I used parsley (on other nights I eliminate it completely). Tastes a little different (yeah, yeah, I know it isn’t authentic without the coriander), but we don’t care in this household.
- I had the onions already sautéing and opened the microwave to take out what I thought was defrosted pork mince… turns out I’d put the frozen mince in the refrigerator (not the microwave) and had defrosted nothing. Oops. Had to set the onions aside while the mince defrosted. I apologise if the meat looks a little weird in the photos below. Blame my clumsy forgetfulness.
You know what I love about san choy bow? It’s the yummiest way to finish off an entire head of iceberg lettuce. It’s a green, Asian taco. And the last of the lettuce leaves make for the cutest little cups that fit perfectly into your mouth (which eliminates the dribble of sauce I always get all over my hands). Happy eating!