A Vegan Take on a Classic Asian Dish

Originating from China everyone says although for years I thought San Choy Bau (or is it Sang Choi Bow? Or even San Choy Bow?) came from Korea as it was two of my Korean students who first made me a vegan version of this dish which is commonly made with pork. Where it originates from is not known, on the internet anyway. However what is known is that ‘Sang Choi’ means lettuce and ‘Bau’ means to wrap. 
Who has had San Choy Bau? Do you have a tried and tested vegan recipe. I love lettuce cups of any sort so San Choy Bau is right up my food alley. Usually made with Iceburg lettuce to get a nice big round cup but more often than not I make it with Cos lettuce as it is only on rare occasions I am lucky enough to find an organic Iceberg.
This version of a vegan San Choy Bau that I share with you now was made for Ghata’s Spirit of Light Training last month and the recipe is adapted from a recipe we made in the Vegan Chef and Lifestyle Training earlier this year. The chef graduates decided to use tofu and mushrooms instead of pork. In the past I have used tempeh as a sub but for this version I used jack fruit and mushrooms. Admittedly I used a can of jackfruit instead of the fresh flesh.
For those who are not familiar with jackfruit it is a great replacement for meat as it cuts up into shreds. If using fresh jackfruit you need to get young or unripe jackfruit. To make shreds you pull the fruit off the core of each segment. In canned jackfruit you will still have the core, you can shred the fruit by pulling it away from the core and then use the core in a curry. I used the core in the lettuce cupsby cutting it into small pieces.
Jackfruit only has three grams of protein per cup so I added some cooked quinoa to the mix which was delicious. Originally you would use water chestnuts in the mix but I added some chopped macadamias for crunch and added protein.
Serve the San Choy Bau with a pickled salad or if wanting even more protein a brown rice noodle salad. 
This recipe is enough for 16 lettuce cups. If you make this recipe be sure to take a pic and share through social media tagging me at #veetsvegancookingschool

San Choy Bau

1 small red onion diced finely
1 Tbsp ginger finely grated
150g shredded jackfruit 
150g mushrooms diced small 
¾ cup cooked quinoa
1 large carrot julienned (julienne grated 
2 spring onion chopped finely use the green parts too
1 small or ½ large red capsicum diced 
½  cup chopped toasted macadamias
½ tbsp mint chopped
2 tbsp avocado oil
2 tsp Tamari
couple of pinches salt
1 tsp coconut amino acids or ½ tsp rice malt syrup
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 small cos lettuce
salt and pepper to taste
Pull off the leaves of the cos lettuces and wash and dry. Lay them out on a platter.
Heat up the avocado oil and fry the onion, capsicum, pinch of salt  and ginger until cooked through. 
Then add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes adding a pinch of salt. 
Next add the jackfruit and spring onions and cook for 2 minutes or until the mushrooms are fully cooked. 
Add the quinoa, tamari, chilli and coconut amino acid and cook until heated through. Stir through the macadamias and chopped mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste
Place spoonfuls of the mushroom, jackfruit mixture onto the lettuce cups and garnish with the julienned carrot.
Serve straight away.

Making Food Look Appetising

Even if just cooking for one I still find it important to make the food I prepare look appetising. Of course you could go overboard and make it look like a photo for a magazine or a top notch instagram post. However its also important that the food is still warm after garnishing and presenting. There is nothing worse than making a delicious meal, spending 10 minutes on presentation then sitting down to a stone cold meal.
I know people who go to the opposite extreme and just eat their food straight from the pot they make it in or just slop the food into a bowl without any thought to garnish and to be honest when in a hurry to eat I do just spoon it into my bowl and ditch the presentation. However more often than not I love the food to look good and do it in a way that is easy, appealing and takes the minimum of time. 
In the Vegan Foundation Cooking Course we spend time garnishing all that we make using simple techniques and encouraging individual creativity so that you can go home and do the same with ease. Sometimes just adding a sprig of parsley can do the trick and then at other times adding individual leaves and a splash of colour through the use of radishes or edible flowers is what is needed. 
I still have space in the October 4th to 6th and November 8th to 10th courses. And for those wanting to plan ahead there is the 17th to 19th January course, which will be brilliant for those of you who have indicated you would like to come and do it in the school holidays. Then dates for the rest of 2019 are up on my website.
Have a great week everyone.
Love Veet 


Tags:lettuce Jackfruit mushrooms quinoa Macadamia

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