I love meals that involve some sort of self assembly… meals where you have some input into or involvement in the final product. When we go out to dinner, josh thinks that this is just lazy…wondering what it is we are paying for if we have to put our own meal together, but I think it is fun! Some examples; tacos, burritos, yakiniku, or my current favourite, san choi boa! Although I do like the pork version, I prefer to make chicken ones at home.
We recently had pork san choi bao at Libertine, the renowned french vietnamese restaurant and bar located in the Brisbane Barracks complex. They were delicious, but I think these are just as good, and don’t come with a hefty price tag.
PS. I am very aware that I may have misspelled san choi bao… I had a great deal of trouble finding the correct spelling which may or may not be one of the following – sung choi/y bao, san choi/y bao, sang choi/y bao…if any credible source out there has the answer, please feel free to let me know!
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
500g chicken mince
3 rashers of bacon
1 lemongrass stalk
1 knob ginger
2 garlic cloves
1 birds eye chilli
1 brown onion
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
juice of 1 lime
2 handfuls of fresh coriander leaves
small tin of water chestnuts
1 iceberg lettuce
optional – steamed coconut rice to serve as a side
Turn the stove top on to medium heat and heat oil in a wide saucepan. Chop the shallots (set some aside for garnish), dice the onion and bacon (make sure you remove all the fat otherwise the dish will become too oily) crush the garlic and place in the saucepan. Stir and cook until onion is soft and bacon has browned. Finely chop the lemongrass and chilli and add to the pan with the chicken mince, increase the heat and cook for 8 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the lime juice, ginger, hoisin and soy sauces, cook for another 3 – 5 minutes.
Twist the core of the lettuce out, discard the outer leaves and separate & rinse the remaining leaves. Stir slices of chestnut and the coriander leaves (keep some for garnish) through the chicken mix and remove from heat.
Place chicken in bowls and garnish with remaining shallots and coriander. Serve with lettuce cups and coconut rice if wanting a more substantial meal.