Neil Perry's sang choy bao

Neil Perry
Use this recipe as a starting point for whichever protein you choose.
Use this recipe as a starting point for whichever protein you choose. Photo: William Meppem
Difficulty
Easy
Dietary
Kid-friendly

What an ingenious invention this is: a quick, simple stir-fry served in a crisp lettuce-leaf cup. I'm using minced pork belly here, but really, chicken, quail, prawn or fish will all work very well; just make sure whatever meat you use is minced or very finely diced. If you need more bulk than a lettuce leaf, this stir-fry is equally delicious served on rice.

Ingredients

1 iceberg lettuce

6 dried shiitake mushrooms

1 dried Chinese sausage

2 tbsp peanut oil

250g pork belly, minced

8 water chestnuts, finely chopped

2 spring onions, finely chopped

4 tbsp Shaoxing wine

¼ cup fresh chicken stock

2 tbsp light soy sauce

¼ cup oyster sauce

Method

1. Wash and drain the lettuce, then carefully separate the leaves and trim to form small cups.

2. Soak the mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes, then drain and chop finely. Discard the stems.

3. While the mushrooms are soaking, steam the sausage for 10 minutes, then chop finely.

4. Heat the peanut oil in a wok until it's just smoking. Stir-fry the pork quickly until the meat just begins to brown. Add the sausage, mushroom, water chestnut and spring onion and stir-fry over moderately high heat to combine the flavours. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, Shaoxing wine, chicken stock, soy and oyster sauces and combine well. Cook until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly (about 8 minutes).

5. Pile the meat into a large bowl, and serve accompanied by a bowl of the lettuce leaves. Each person spoons some filling into a lettuce-leaf "cup", then rolls it up with their fingers to eat.

Tip: Since I like my sang choy bao spicy, I add a little chilli sauce to each wrap, but you could just as easily add a tablespoon of chilli paste to the pan.

Find more of Neil Perry's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.

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