San Choy Bow is a fantastic meal for families – you can eat it with your fingers, you can hide extra vegetables for unsuspecting fussy eaters and it makes good use of the much-maligned iceberg lettuce. Fact is, iceberg lettuce is at a reasonable price at the moment, and pork mince – or chicken mince if you prefer – is never very expensive. The rest are ingredients you can add to your next stir-fry or fried rice and will never go to waste.
Dried Chinese mushrooms can be found in the Asian groceries section of your supermarket and at Asian grocers around the country. You may have to cast your eyes down if in the supermarket as they are not always very well displayed. Simply add boiling water and set aside for 15 to 30 minutes to soak them and they will reconstitute beautifully to their original size. Their flavour is intense so only a few are required at any one time.
- 4 dried shitake mushrooms
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil or rice bran oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 500g pork mince (or chicken mince if you prefer)
- 6 shallots (spring onions), finely sliced on the diagonal
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or kecap manis
- juice of 1 lime
- ½ bunch (about 1 cup) coriander leaves (optional)
- 12 large iceberg lettuce leaves, washed and dried, then crisped up in the bottom of the fridge for an hour
Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water (about 1 cup). Leave to soak for up to 30 minutes until they are doubled in size and soft to the touch. Drain off the liquid. Finely slice the mushrooms, then set them aside.
Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the sliced mushrooms carrot and stir-fry for a further half a minute. Add the mince and continue tossing well until the mince is cooked through and starting to brown, about 4 minutes.
Add the shallots, oyster and soy sauces, lime juice and half the coriander (if using) and toss well to combine. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining coriander.
Serve the meat in a separate bowl on the table with extra oyster sauce and sweet chilli sauce if people want it and the lettuce cups on another plate and let everyone help themselves.
$10.50 for four people