Chicken san choi bow

Chicken san choi bow

Cut the Carbs!

To me san choi bow is often the opening salvo in a meal spun on a lazy susan, gluggy with rice and culminating in deep-fried ice dairy. Yet there are plenty of ways to conjure the allure of a night at the local Chinese without installing a rotating circle in the middle of your dining table – or falling down a white carb hole. For one, leave the fried noodles, rice and water chestnuts behind. Instead invite some slivered jicama/yam bean to the party. This bulbous root is often found in Asian supermarkets and has a similar texture to a water chestnut, but less bloating starch. From there you can pad out your lettuce parcels with shaved carrot, mince and the crunch of peanuts. And if you still feel the need for something white to spin on the table, take comfort in the fact you can always buy a rotating disc from IKEA.


Quantity Ingredient
1 large iceberg lettuce
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
5 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander stems
5cm lump of ginger root, peeled and grated
700g chicken mince
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon chilli oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 jicama/yam bean, peeled and sliced on a mandolin
or 2 large handfuls beansprouts
1 carrot, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons roughly chopped roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves


  1. Cut the base off the iceberg lettuce and submerge in cold water to separate out the leaves. Trim them with scissors, if necessary, to make open cups. Place them in a bowl or sink of cold water to stay crisp.
  2. Place a wok over high heat and add the vegetable oil. Stir-fry the spring onions, coriander stems and ginger for 1 minute to soften them. Add the mince and cook for 4–6 minutes, until it takes on some colour. Add the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chilli oil and sesame oil.
  3. Fold the stir-fry through the grated jicama/yam bean and carrot. Serve in the lettuce cups, top with the peanuts and coriander leaves, and supply napkins to catch any drips.
low carb
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