San Choy Bow

San Choy Bow, or Chinese lettuce wraps, translate to bao (treasure), wrapped in saung choi, (lettuce), in this crispy fresh meaty appetizer.
San Choy Bow

San Choy Bow

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

San Choy Bow is my recipe of the day with the blogging group Sunday Funday. We ge together on Sundays to take turns hosting and posting delicious recipes  on various themes. This week  was my turn to host and suggest so it’s going to be  for Chinese New Year. I love Chinese food.

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San Choy Bow

It’s been said about me that I cook great Chinese food. I appreciate the adoration but it isn’t exactly all  I cook. My Uncle, Curtis, passed away a few weeks ago. He appreciated my “Chinese” cooking (even  when  it wasn’t). Or maybe he was just pulling  my leg about that.

The San  Choy Bow are definitely  Chinese, even though they feel more American. They are so very PF Chang,  if you ask  me. Although they just mix together everything they have at  the table for a dipping sauce, which is a bit weird.

Sunday Funday


Sunday Funday

But sang  choi means  lettuce and  bao means treasure (like  a little  treasure chest). Spellings vary since the  letters are different. You may be more familiar with bok choy (the type of cabbage) or bao  (as in buns) which have a treasured filling. This dish has neither cabbage  or  buns.

I love it because it  is quick to make and really delicious. If you watch the sugar and use a sub instead, it is perfect for  diets. My husband and I could clear out the entire recipe as a light supper. I already need to make this again. It’s so good.

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San Choy Bow

San Choy Bow

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San Choy Bow

San Choy Bow

Sue Lau
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 393 kcal



  • Boston lettuce leaves or Iceberg lettuce leaves

Meat Filling:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1-2 small fresh Thai red chillies (seeded and minced)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Dipping Sauce: (yield 1/2 cup)

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger


  • Brown the pork in a skillet with the garlic, ginger and chillies; drain any fat.
  • Stir in the soy sauce, sriracha sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, and cilantro.
  • Separate lettuce leaves and arrange on a plate.
  • Stir together the dipping sauce ingredients and divide into small bowls.
  • Serve meat in lettuce sections with a little dipping sauce spooned on (I find it easier to spoon it on than dip the leaf).


From the kitchen of


Calories: 393kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 21gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 1077mgPotassium: 419mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 129IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mg
Keyword lettuce wraps
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San Choy Bow

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6 responses

    • I make it with pretty much everything. Beef ones usually end up being tacos though. I have serous taco cravings once or twice per week!

  1. this is so delish, am sure the vegan version could include scrambked tofu / cottage cheese. and love the idea of serving them in lettuce cups !

    • The modern world is a marvel. Vegans now have their own oyster sauce, brown sugar and those Beyond Meat crumbles. No one gets left behind. Yay! There is also tempeh and bulgur (if the bulgur isn’t overcooked) for textural adds.

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