This san chow boy recipe (also known as Asian lettuce cups) is absolutely delicious; light, tasty and very satisfying! The fresh crispiness of the iceberg lettuce combines so well with the satisfying textures of the veggie filling. Then the creamy sweet and spicy dressing tops it all off perfectly.
Traditionally, the main ingredient in the filling for san choy bow is minced meat. To make this a plant based version I have substituted meat with a combination of mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and walnuts which have a “meaty” texture. I have also added a variety of fresh raw vegetables to increase the nutritional value of this dish. These include tomatoes, onions, carrots, red capsicum and herbs. You can also get creative and add your other favourite raw veggies – I think most will suit this meal. I even added a generous sprinkle of unhulled sesame seeds to give an extra crunch and dose of healthy fats. If you can’t find iceberg lettuce, then you could also use romaine leaves or butter lettuce.
You can use big lettuce cups for a main meal, (3 usually fills me up) or smaller romaine leaves as appetisers. They are ideal to take to family or friends BBQ’s or gatherings. Just store the leaves and filling in separate containers and serve up at the party. This dish appeals to people of any age. Eaten with your hands, they are so much fun to eat which the kids will love! Adults will be impressed with mouth-watering textures and tantalising Chinese flavours. I guarantee everyone will be impressed – even the non-vegans.
Healthy Veggie San Choy Bow
- 4 mushrooms
- 1 handful sundried tomatoes soaked for 30 minutes
- 1/4 cup walnuts soaked overnight (or buy activated)
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 pinch chilli powder
- 1 carrot grated
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 1 stalk celery finely chopped
- 1 green onion chopped
- 1 large handful fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- 1 piece ginger minced
- 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- water as needed to make creamy
- as many as desired iceberg lettuce leaves or leaves of choice
- Gently process the first 5 filling ingredients.
- Add to a large bowl and mix in the other fillings.
- Spoon mixture in to ice berg lettuce leaves.
- Add the tahini and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl.
- Pour in a little bit of water at a time, stirring, until a creamy pourable consistency is achieved. Then add in the rest of the dressing ingredients.
- Top the san choy bow with the creamy tahini sauce.