Chicken San Choy Bow

I love Asian cuisine , there is something about the simplicity of flavours and the freshness of ingredients which gives it the unique flavour profile. But since my husband is not a huge fan of asian I don’t end up making it as much as I would like to. Though this is one dish that he loves as well. The whole ritual of making your own rolls using lettuce leaves, chicken mice and other toppings like crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, fresh chilli, and coriander makes for a fun dining experience. Yes you get a little messy, especially if you are someone like me who has the juices running down my sleeve whenever i attempt to eat this.. By no means is it a graceful knife and fork meal but it really is a fun meal!

Also the added advantage is that its quick so perfect for weeknights when you are hard pressed for time. The key to good asian cuisine is the way the vegetables are cut as the wok is very hot and all the vegetables get approximately same time to attain the crunch required. Serve it immediately as you make it, as you loose the flavour profile if kept out too long.

You can substitute chicken mince for pork or turkey mince, and for a vegetarian option use soybean mince. I usually use butter lettuce for this as I like the smooth texture which is easy to roll  but you can just as well use Iceberg Lettuce or any other variety that you like. I also add mushrooms as I absolutely love the combination of chicken and mushrooms. And usually serve it with a side of sautéed snow peas, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and chopped fresh chilies. Play with it, make your own roll, eat it the way your like it, and thats why I love it.

So heres the recipe

Serves – 2-4


  • 500gm chicken mince
  • 1cup button mushrooms finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1inch ginger minced
  • 4 birdseye chillies diced (use less for less heat)
  • 1 brown onion finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of spring onions chopped with some of the green stalks as well
  • 2-3 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 2 star anise
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 200gm canned water chestnuts (optional)
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander chopped for garnish
  • 2tbsp vegetable / peanut oil
  • 1 bunch of washed dried and and separated whole lettuce leaves to serve
  • Optional Sides –
    • Sauted or steamed snow peas
    • Bean sprouts
    • Diced chilies
    • Crushed peanuts


  1. Heat a large wok with oil in it.
  2. Once heated through add the star anise and diced brown onion. Saute for 5-7 minutes until soft and then add minced ginger and garlic. Saute until the raw smell goes away for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken mince and mix it well tossing it around until it turns brown and there is no pink left in the mince. Cook it further for a few more minutes. This might tae 10-15mins.
  4. Now add in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, chillies, mushroom, water chestnuts (if using) and toss it around in the wok to mix it well with the chicken mince until cooked through. Add the salt and pepper to taste and adjust seasonings as per taste.
  5. Add in the spring onions and cook further for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve immediately with lettuce leaves and the sides.

Happy eating!!


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