Experiences - Asia

Chinese New Year Food – Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce Wraps or ‘San Choy Bau’ is a classic Chinese starter that is perfect for an Asian-themed meal. They are basically minced chicken (or pork) wrapped up in fresh iceberg lettuce leaves served with hoisin dipping sauce.

Lettuce cups are eaten during Chinese New year since the Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like rising fortune and prosperity. It is common to serve lettuce wraps filled with other lucky food during the new year. Here’s the recipe for San Choy bow. Make it as a wonderful entree for your Chinese New year Meal and have prosperous new year.

CNY Food - Lettuce Wraps

Image Courtesy: Tristan Kenney used under the Creative Commons Licence

This dish is one of the most popular Chinese dishes. Lettuce wraps are tasty and very refreshing and come complete with a crunchy texture of the cold iceberg lettuce leaf. They are healthy and make a great addition to the platter.

The meat stuffing can vary from pork to chicken, from beef to lamb, and from prawns to duck. Along with minced meat, iceberg lettuce, bean shoots, spring onion, water chestnuts, sesame oil, chilli sauce, pre-fried noodles, vegetable oil and some soy sauce are used in preparing this authentic dish.

CNY Food - San Choy Bau

Image Courtesy: Kirk K used under the Creative Commons Licence

The dipping sauce tastes best when made with some Ponzu sauce to the typical hoisin-chilli dip to give it an extra layer of flavour. Lettuce wraps also go extremely well with sweet chilli sauce for sweet lovers.

Delicious and bursting with flavour, Asian lettuce wraps are a great idea for entertaining or a family-style meal. Each person can make their own fresh, delicious wrap. It is as simple as wrapping the lettuce around the meat like a burrito.

Make a bed of noodles on a platter and top with the chicken mixture. Serve the noodles and stir-fry with lettuce leaves and soy sauce for dipping. This is a much-loved, light, fresh low carb and fun Chinese New Year dish.

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