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Platter of san choy bow ready for serve

San choy bow (lettuce wraps)

Healthy, easy, budget-friendly and super delicious. These restaurant-quality san choy bow are great as a main, appetiser or a simple afternoon snack!
4.82 from 11 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Chinese lettuce wraps
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 people
Calories: 302kcal
Author: Genevieve


  • 3 baby gem lettuce (little gem lettuce) or iceberg lettuce (note 1)
  • optional: garnish with spring onion/scallions to serve finely sliced

Pork and vegetable filling

  • 500 g /1.1lbs pork mince (ground pork) substitute: chicken mince or firm tofu
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic large, minced
  • 1 carrot large, finely diced or grated
  • 150 g /5.3oz green beans finely diced, roughly 1.5 cups
  • 1 tablespoon oil sunflower or olive oil are fine
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine substitute: mirin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 fresh chilli finely diced, any kind, birdseye for extra heat

Thickening mixture

  • 1 tablespoon cornflour/cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¾ cup cold water (note 2)


  • Saute onions, garlic and chilli with oil in a large non-stick pan or skillet. Cook medium-high heat until onion sweats and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Push onions to the rims of the pan, add pork mince and saute for about 2 minutes on high heat or until meat is brown but not cooked through. (note 3)
  • Mix shaoxing wine into the pan and allow the wine to evaporate. This will take about 1 minute.
  • Add carrots, beans, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, pepper. Mix and cook on low heat for 10 minutes, no lid.
  • Combine thickening mixture ingredients in a bowl, mix well and pour into the pan. Stir the pork and vegetables for 1-2 minutes on low heat.
  • To assemble the san choy bow, scoop 1 heaped tablespoon of filling into 1 baby gem lettuce leaf and (optional) top with finely sliced spring onion/scallions and fresh chilli. Repeat for remainder filling.
  • Serve immediately!



Note 1. Clean and pat dry baby gem lettuce/little gem lettuce before serving. This will prevent water dripping everywhere before your first bite and will ensure the filling and its sauce does not get diluted by excess water.
Baby gem lettuce is essentially small Romaine lettuce and are a little sweet and crispy. Another great option is iceberg lettuce, although would require a little trimming. 
Note 2. Use cold water when mixing with cornstarch/cornflour very important as hot water will curdle the mixture and you'll end up with lumpy bits everywhere in the pork and vegetable filling. They won't dessolve no matter how much you mix or cook it!  
Note 3. Pushing onions to the rims of the pan just makes room for the pork mince so it directly touches the hot pan. This is important to add colour and flavour into the pork mince. The higher the heat, the better!
Freezing The pork mince and veggies filling keeps well in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make an extra batch and store it in the freezer for a lazy day. You'll be glad you did! By the way, these fillings aren't limited for san choy bow! They taste delicious with a bowl of steaming rice or as topping for noodles too! 
Turn this into a great vegetarian dish by swapping pork mince out for finely diced firm tofu. Use vegetarian oyster sauce instead - they're available at most Asian grocery stores!
Tried this recipe?Mention @Casuallypeckish or tag #casuallypeckish!


Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.8g | Protein: 26.3g | Fat: 15.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 376mg | Fiber: 4.2g | Sugar: 5g | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg