Low Carb San Choy Bow Recipe (Asian Lettuce Wraps)

San Choy Bow is a traditional Asian dish, also known as Asian Lettuce Cups or Chinese Lettuce Wraps. It’s super easy to make and perfect for on-the-go lunches… and who doesn’t like finger food, really? The lettuce cups serve as their own little dishes, so you’ll be spending less time washing up too. That’s a win in my books.

For all it’s spelling variations, there are even more ways to make it… but most of the recipes you’ll find online are less than healthy - even if they claim to be.

So I’ve been searching for the perfect healthy San Choy Bow recipe. One that has all the fragrant zingy flavours of ginger, sweet chilli and the saltiness of soy sauce. I’ve been tweaking my formula for months and I’m happy to say, I have finally nailed it.

You see, even the ‘healthy’ recipes still use inflammatory vegetable oils, sugar-laced sweet chilli sauces and sodium-filled soy sauce (and no, ‘reduced sodium’ soy is no better). You may as well just get a dirty take-away dinner and be done with it.

That’s why this San Choy Bow recipe trumps ALL it’s predecessors. And it all comes down to the little known secret ingredient… liquid coconut aminos. Made from the sap of the coconut blossom, it is low in sugar, gluten-free and has 65% less sodium than your regular soy sauce.

But just because we’ve healthi-fied this Asian favourite, it doesn’t mean we compromise on taste. This recipe still packs a punch and is sure to dazzle even your fussiest of dinner party guests. And who doesn’t like take-out dinners with zero guilt?

You can use lettuce leaves but I prefer to use Nappa cabbage leaves as they are sturdier cups to hold more of the juicy filling. And the toppings are just as important as the recipe itself. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, chilli flakes, chopped coriander & finish with a squeeze of lime. Mouth-watering goodness!

San Choy Bow Nutritional Info (per Serving)


29g FAT | 12g (net) CARB | 34g PROTEIN | 414 Calories

Cooking Time: 10 mins | Prep Time: 5 mins | Serves: 6

San Choy Bow Ingredients

  • 1 x tablespoon unsalted butter (for cooking)
  • 1 x small brown onion, diced
  • 1-2 x carrot, diced
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    2 x cloves garlic, minced
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    1 x inch piece ginger, minced
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    2 x kg ground mince meat of your choice (beef, turkey, pork, chicken)
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    1 x small can bamboo shoots, drained
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    1 x small can water chestnuts, drained
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    1/4 x cup liquid coconut aminos
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    1 x tablespoon arrowroot powder
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    1 x teaspoon sesame seeds or cashew nuts, chopped (optional garnish)
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    green cabbage or cos lettuce (whole pieces)

San Choy Bow Cooking Method

  • In a large fry pan, heat the butter over a medium heat
  • Add onions & carrots and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring until softened but still tender
  • Add garlic & ginger and cook for a further minute or so until fragrant 
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    Add ground mince meat, making sure to break it up evenly with a utensil so that it cooks evenly until browned
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    Add bamboo shoots, & water chestnuts and stir well and continue cooking for 2-3 mins
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    Add coconut aminos, arrowroot powder and stir well. Simmer for a further 5 mins
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    Serve on lettuce/cabbage cups, sprinkle with optional sesame seeds, chopped cashews, chopped coriander & a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!
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  • Yvonne says:

    Please help I love your videos