San Choy Bow


It’s all hot, hot, hot here in Adelaide (for a few days, at least). We’re expecting 37°C today, and 39 tomorrow so Saturday’s 31°C is looking like a cool change.

With this in mind (and probably a long hot summer ahead), meals need to be light, fresh and quick and easy to prepare. No one wants to heat up the kitchen or spend hours at the stove or even the BBQ.

Andy announced that we should have san choy bow one night this week so we picked up some pork mince on the weekend and I was left to my own devices (the internet) to come up with a meal.

You’ll have noticed that we don’t eat a ton of Chinese food. I’m not a huge fan and the only style that gets me excited for eating out is Sichuan. We have an underused copy of Fuschia Dunlop’s Sichuan Cookery and we frequently eat a spicy chicken stir fry. But that’s it.

I did a bit of googling, searching for an appropriate san choy bow recipe and found that they were mostly unbelievably bland sounding. I found an Anna Gare recipe that sounded like I was onto a winner. Although the list of ingredients looked a little intimidating, I could tell that it was going to provide me with a great base dish.

As always, I used her recipe as a guide and unfortunately the original recipe is no longer on line.

I began by finely chopping 1 and half onions and frying them, in the wok, with a couple of cloves of crushed garlic and a generous teaspoonful of ginger*. When the onion had started to soften I added 500g of pork mince and stir fried until that was cooked through.

I then added a generous few splashes of fish sauce, the juice of half a lemon and a good glug of soy sauce. Finally, I mixed through 1 scant teaspoon of palm sugar. I raised the temperature to ensure that the palm sugar was melted through and to boil off some of the sauces. San choy bow isn’t meant to be saucy!

That was my work done for the day. The cooled mince mixture was put in the fridge overnight, ready to be pulled out for a quick after work dinner.

When we were ready to eat, Andy julienned some carrot and finely chopped a green capsicum and hese were stir fried with the pork mixture. To finish, we mixed through some chilli flakes and some sliced spring onion and served in lettuce cups.

A little bit messy to eat, perhaps, but a perfect meal on a hot day!

* We’ve given up buying fresh ginger (which is invariably imported). You can buy Australian ginger paste in small jars from most supermarkets.

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