San Choy Bau makes for an easy weeknight dinner. My vegetarian version will have you reaching for that iceberg lettuce in no time!
How long does it take you to prepare dinner each night?
Is that the $64,000 question?
I have to say that I’ve been bitten by the 30 and 15 minute meal bug that’s been popularised by Jamie Oliver.
Even though I don’t time my meal preparations to the exact minute I do love the concept. It helps me think beyond the usual and challenges me in the kitchen to be more efficient.
Which brings me to this quick and easy weeknight dinner prepared using mushrooms.
This time I’ve gone down the Asian route and created this mushroom san choy bau recipe.
In the generic Chinese restaurants of my dining past, I have always adored and loved this dish.
The crispness of the iceberg lettuce combined with the cooked, aromatic meat mixture and crunchy water chestnuts was rated “perfect” by my tastebuds.
As usual I’ve played around with the traditional recipe and used a few extra ingredients that were sitting in the fridge. The mushrooms are still the stars in this recipe and worked beautifully.
I’ve opted to use baby cos lettuce as the cup and spiced up the mushroom mixture with a blend of Asian-inspired ingredients. Not sure if it’s “authentic” but the concept and taste are still present.
I also opted to add some leftover chopped kale that I had from my kale salad and added a lightly beaten egg at the end to add a little extra protein. The mushrooms were pulsed a few times in the food processor and stir fried in a hot wok.
Take away? Dial a pizza?
This is real “fast food”.
San Choy Bau
- 8 Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon chili paste, sambal oelek
- 300 grams mushrooms, Swiss Broiwn - pulsed in a food processor a few times (do not over process them-we still want texture)
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, (Chinese rice wine or dry sherry)
- 2 cups kale, shredded
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Add the peanut oil to a wok and allow to heat on high. Once hot add the garlic, ginger and sambal oelek and stir until the mixture becomes fragrant (about half a minute).
- Add the mushrooms and stir until everything is well combined - make sure the mushrooms fully release all their liquid and then add the oyster sauce and Shaoxing wine. (about 5 mins)
- Stir again and allow the mixture to cook for a few mins.
- Finally add the shredded kale, cook for one minute and then add the lightly beaten egg. Stir thoroughly ensuring the egg is fully cooked.
- Once cooked transfer the mushroom mixture to a large bowl and serve with the cos lettuce leaves. - Optional - Garnish with sliced spring onions (green onions), fresh chili or coriander (cilantro) leaves.