Feb 03

Cooks’ Club Challenge: San Choy Bau


San Choy Bau



Hello hello everyone. I do hope all my friends and readers back home have had a wonderful Chinese New Year, with all the fireworks and feasting on new year treats. I think that’s the best part of living in that part of the world … you get to celebrate new year TWICE! It don’t matter if you’re not Chinese, everyone celebrates just as much as the next person.



I know I said the month of February would be dedicated to featuring foods of love, but concessions must be made to accommodate the monthly Cooks’ Club and Bake Club challenges. This time round Taste.com.au have amended the format of the challenges. Instead of working around a theme, which can be rather vague and cover such a wide scope of recipes, they have narrowed the options to just three specific recipes.




Creamy Tuna Pasta

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

San Choy Bau



I could make all three, but I am choosing to feature just one on the blog, as per usual. R. likes san choy bau so I am going with that one. Did not like the look of the rice paper rolls at all, and the tuna pasta is just too common a recipe in our house. Even R. can now make his own tuna pasta, complete with béchamel sauce. So san choy bau it will be then. The recipe I am providing below is my version which deviates somewhat from the original recipe on the website.




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250 g minced chicken

1 small red onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp ginger, minced

5 dried shitake mushrooms

¼ cup diced bell peppers

¼ cup jullienned carrots

¼ cup cabbage, jullienned

2 radishes, diced

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp oyster sauce

Shaoxing cooking wine

splash of chicken stock

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp cornstarch + 100 mls liquid reserved from soaking mushrooms

chopped coriander leaves

I used a pre-mix packet of veggies. That’s the good thing about supermarkets here if you are only cooking for two ~ small packets of stuff that only cost € 1. Sure beats buying all the individual components and then throwing them in the bin after they rot at the bottom of your fridge. In the packet was onions, carrots, peppers, cabbage and radish. I just added garlic and ginger to the mix and stir-fried everything in a bit of oil until fragrant.




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As for the mushrooms, I bought dried shitake slices and soaked them in warm water for about an hour. Cover with cling film and leave them to rehydrate. When the mushrooms are soft, remove from the water and reserve the soaking liquid. You will add this liquid to the pan later.




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I fried up the veggies for only about five minutes then I took them off the heat and set them aside, still only half cooked. I didn’t want to over cook the vegetables or ruin their colour while I cooked the meat. By doing it this way I was able to ensure each component would be cooked just enough.


In the same pan with a little extra oil I sauteed the mince chicken. Break up the mince with the back of a wooden spoon thoroughly. THen add the Shaoxing cooking wine and toss. Once the wine cooks off, add in some of the mushroom liquid, soy sauce, oyster sauce and chicken stock. Bring it up to the boil then lower the heat to a gentle simmer until the liquid reduces a little.


Now add the mushrooms and all the veggies. Stir through and taste for seasoning. If all is well in the taste department then you can now add the cornstarch slurry to thicken up the sauce. This will only take a few minutes.


Turn off the fire and now stir in the chopped coriander or green onions. Dish out and serve with lettuce cups.




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And there it is … my first successful San Choy Bau attempt. Somehow I feel like the filling deserves to be eaten with steamed buns instead of plain ‘ol lettuce leaves. R. says he loves San Choy Bau yet so far has refused to eat the version I have cooked on account of there being mushrooms present in the dish. Well whatever … his loss. Have I mentioned before that he’s the fussiest, pickiest eater ever?




~ Enjoy ! ~





Permanent link to this article: http://foodflurries.com/savoury/san-choy-bau

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