San Choy Bow / Sang Chow Bau – Chinese Mince in Lettuce Cups

San Choy Bow / Sang Chow Bau – Chinese Mince in Lettuce Cups

There are many variations on how to spell this dish “San Choy Bow”, as it comes from China and this is the English very rough translation! To me, it translates to mouth watering, tangy, spicy rich pork mince with fresh bean sprouts wrapped in a crisp lettuce leaf.

Usually served as an appetiser at Chinese restaurants, we love the flavours so much we have it quite often as a weeknight  meal. It is quick and simple, and if you have a few of the ingredients on hand you can whip this up in no time.

Traditionally, iceberg lettuce is used but I found getting the perfect lettuce cups was really difficult and I’d often end up wasting a lot of lettuce. Using cos lettuce offered the same crunch and freshness, in much more uniform and sturdy leaves to hold that delicious mince in place.


Chinese San Choy Bow Keto LCHF
3.8 from 5 votes

San Choy Bow

A delicious Chinese inspired dish bursting with fresh flavours and texture. This is higher in carb than most keto dishes, so enjoy in moderation or on a day when your other carbs have been very low. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 405 kcal


  • 500 Grams pork mince you can use chicken or beef, but I prefer pork
  • 1/4 small brown onion finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic crushed
  • ½ tablespoon ginger crushed
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes or 1 deseeded red chilli
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce check for sugar levels, I use Changs
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 100 grams bean sprouts
  • 1 head baby cos lettuce washed and cut into cups
  • Fresh lime to serve


  1. In a large frying pan or wok, place coconut oil, ginger, garlic and chilli and saute over medium heat for 1 minute until fragrant. Add chopped onions and fry for a further 2 minutes until slightly browned.
  2. Add the pork mince and stir through the onion mixture, breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon as you go. Cook through until the meat is lightly browned and there are no more visible pink areas.
  3. While this is cooking, prepare your lettuce. Cut the bottom of the Cos lettuce off and remove the outer leaves. You want to use the largest leaves and keep them all in one piece, so wash and dry them gently to remove any grit. Save the inner leaves for your next Caesar salad!
  4. Once the meat is lightly browned, stir through the hoisin, oyster sauce, fish sauce and bean sprouts.
  5. Serve with fresh lime on the side to squeeze over.
Nutrition Facts
San Choy Bow
Amount Per Serving
Calories 405 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 90mg30%
Sodium 869mg38%
Potassium 423mg12%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 95IU2%
Vitamin C 5.1mg6%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet and all calculations are estimates only.


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