Saturday, January 18, 2014

San Choy Bow

I have an incredibly bad habit of completely gorging on Gluten over the Christmas and New Year period. This means a lot of pain and weight gain but for those few weeks, it is entirely worth it.

However, now that the festive season is well and truly over, it is now time to get back on track and start being completely gluten free once more, no matter how delicious fresh or soft white bread is. Or Croissants... Or Turkish Toast lathered with butter and vegemite... *daydreams*

Snap out of it Bry Jaimea!

Anyway, let me tell you a funny story about today’s recipe:

About a year ago my sister and I headed to Fortitude Valley’s China Town for a delicious dinner. We found an appropriately regular looking Chinese Restaurant, and sat down eagerly (it is common knowledge that the worse it looks, the better it tastes. Never ever eat at a fancy-schmancy Chinese Restaurant if you actually want good food). We took our time perusing the menu, and upon seeing San Choy Bow, well, it was hardly a choice any longer considering how much I love the dish. The lady came up to take our orders, and I placed my order.
“To share?” She asked, and I scoffed.
“No!” I smiled genially, “It’s just for me.” Given most other restaurants in Brisbane only ever served this dish in tiny portions, I figured that I could eat this dish, in its entirety, by myself, for my main meal.
The lady raised her eyebrow, looked at me with a mixture of scepticism, confusion and horror before asking “Really? Just for you?”
“Yes, thank you.” I said brightly, smiling kindly as she hurried away to place our order with the kitchen.
Ten minutes later I understood the look she had given me earlier and I shrunk beneath the shadow of the plate she placed before me.
It was the largest plate of SCB I had ever seen. It was huge, mountainous, and I swear the lettuce cups had been grown by giants.
I gulped back my pride, and in my tiniest voice asked: “Uh, can we make this to share, please?”
One smug look and a nod later, soon enough my sister and I shared the best SCB I have ever eaten.

And so here’s my recipe below, for what I consider to be pretty damn good as well!

What Will I Need?

500g pork mince
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
2 small red chili, seeds removed, finely diced
1 tsp hoy sin sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp shaoxing wine (chinese cooking wine)
1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
50g shitake mushrooms, finely diced
200g tinned water chestnut, drained and finely diced
4 scallions, white parts only,  finely sliced
1 tsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
 2 baby cos lettuce (or one iceberg lettuce), washed and leaves separated.

What Now?

1.        In a mixing bowl, add the pork, cornflour, garlic, ginger, chili, hoy sin,  soy, shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, mushrooms and water chestnuts, and mix together until well combined. Set aside for 30 minutes to marinate.

2.        In a wok, or fry pan, heat the two oils over a medium heat and then sauté the scallion for a minute or until just starting to sizzle and soften.

3.        Add the pork mixture to the wok and raise the temperature to high. Stir fry the mince for five minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat.

4.        Spoon the pork into the lettuce leaves and serve.