Chicken san choi bau
Everyone loves these little lettuce parcels filled with stir-fried chicken, mushrooms and oyster sauce. Substitute minced pork, if you prefer. Serve with steamed rice or vermicelli noodles as a main course, with a little hoisin sauce, if you like.
Photo: Marina Oliphant
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- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 iceberg lettuce
- 150g canned bamboo shoots
- 100g canned water chestnuts
- 4 spring onions
- 2 tbsp vegetable or corn oil
- 500g coarsely minced chicken
- 2 celery stalks, finely sliced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce, plus extra for serving
- 2 tbsp coriander, chopped
- steamed rice for serving
Pour boiling water over the mushrooms and soak for 20 minutes. Carefully separate the lettuce leaves and, if large, cut in half. Wash, shake dry and chill (it's important they are cold).
Drain and chop the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Finely chop the spring onions, keeping white and green separate. Drain the mushrooms, squeeze dry, discard the stems and finely dice the caps.
Heat the wok and, when hot, add the oil and heat through, swirling to coat the pan. Add the chicken, celery and the white parts of the spring onions and toss over high heat for 2 minutes or until coloured, flipping the food from underneath with a wooden or metal paddle. Add the mushrooms, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts and toss well. Mix the cornflour into the rice wine and add, along with the soy sauce, oyster sauce, spring onion greens and most of the coriander, and toss well.
To serve, arrange lettuce leaves, rice and chicken on four platters and scatter with remaining coriander. Wrap and eat.
Tip: If you are going to make this for dinner, soak the dried mushrooms in the morning and leave all day - they become soft and silky.