San Choy Bau – Thai Style

It’s Tuesday night again during footy season. What to do for dinner?

My husband Nathan, and his mate Glen, are responsible for the This Week in League podcast (available on iTunes) and they record it at our place every Tuesday night. As a consequence, we need something fast, tasty and sufficient to keep these two full enough to banter for the next couple of hours!

Nathan and I are also following the Slow Carb diet laid out in The 4-Hour Body (8 kilos for me and counting!) so I also can’t have any carbs, which would normally be my go-to option for this very occasion!

Thai and Mexican food are perfect for the Slow Carb diet and I had a hankering for some San Choy Bau so I came up with the idea of Thai-Style San Choy Bau.

It turned out to be a perfect option as it was very fast, very tasty and the boys indicating they would like it again! For me, it also felt a bit naughty so was perfect for a mid-week treat.

The recipe I have listed below is quite a lot but it went very quickly. If you had 4 adults and were using this as a main meal, you would need to increase the quantity. We fed 3 adults (2 male and 1 female) quite comfortably with these quantities, but there were no left overs.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


  • 1kg chicken mince
  • 2 tbsp ginger
  • 3 shallots (the long green spring onion type)
  • 1/2 cup of coriander (you can vary this for your own taste)
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • chilli (optional)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis
  • vegetable oil
  • crushed peanuts
  • 2 small cos lettuce


  1. Add about 2 tbsp oil in a fry pan. Add the ginger and chilli (if you are using) now and fry until fragrant.
  2. Add the chicken mince to the pan and cook until it starts to brown. It is important you cook the mince until it starts to get some good colour as the caramelisation is an important flavour to the finished dish.
  3. Add the shallots, coriander, kecap manis, lemon and fish sauce and stir through. Cook until heated through.
  4. Prepare the cos lettuce so that the leaves are separated, cleaned and ready to use as little boats for the mince.
  5. To serve, place the mince in the lettuce leaf boats and sprinkle with crushed peanuts.

I did not add the chilli to the chicken mince as one of the boys is not overly fond of chilli. I did serve the boats with a plate of crushed nuts and a plate of pickled chilli which went exceptionally well.

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