Pork Lettuce Wraps | Pork San Choy Bau

Pork Lettuce Wraps | Pork San Choy Bau


These delightful lettuce wraps are filled with garlic-ginger scented ground pork and mixed vegetables.
  • Serves: 2 to 4
  • Active Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Views: 24,527
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing Your Mise en Place

• 3 cloves garlic
• 2 tbsp fresh ginger
• 4 green onions
• 1 red pepper
• 1 can water chestnuts (8 oz; see note)
• 1 small head iceberg lettuce


To prepare your mise en place, crush the garlic and finely mince the ginger. Finely chop the green onions. Cut the red pepper into small dice. Drain the water chestnuts and cut into small dice. Remove the leaves from the lettuce and keep whole. Rinse and pat dry. Set everything aside.

Note: If you can, use fresh water chestnuts. They are superior in flavor and texture. To prepare the water chestnuts, simply cut off the top and bottom and peel the exterior with a vegetable peeler. Place into cold water to prevent them from oxidizing. Drain and dice just before using.

Step 2: Making the Sauce

• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• 2 tbsp oyster sauce
• 2 tbsp dry sherry or Shao Hsing rice wine
• 1 tsp sambal oelek (or to taste)


To make the sauce, simply mix the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Step 3: Cooking the Mirepoix

• 1 tbsp peanut oil (or grapeseed)
• 1 tsp dark sesame oil
• 1 lb lean ground pork*


To start the dish, heat a large, non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Add the oils, followed by the ginger, garlic and green onions. Stir and cook the aromatics for a couple of minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic.

Step 4: Cooking the Pork


Add the ground pork and break up any big lumps with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook until the pork lightly browns, about 10 to 15 minutes or so.

Step 5: Adding the Vegetables


Once the pork is lightly browned, add the red pepper and water chestnuts. Let cook for a minute or two.

Step 6: Adding the Sauce


Next, add the sauce and stir to combine. Let simmer for a few minutes, until the liquid reduces and thickens. Turn the heat to low and keep warm.

Step 7: Serving the Lettuce Wraps

• 1 green onion (garnish)


To serve the lettuce wraps, scoop a bit of the pork mixture into a lettuce cup. Slice the green onion on the bias and sprinkle over top, if desired. Serve with additional sambal, if desired.

Chef's Notes

  • Ground chicken can be substituted for ground pork.

San choy bau is typically served as an appetizer. To turn this into more of a substantial meal, add a bit of steamed rice to the wrap (or serve on the side). Season with more sambal oelek or soy sauce to taste.


  • Linda C
    Linda C
    This is so good. I just wanted to try this, so I made some steamed rice and we had these Pork Lettuce Wraps for dinner. The only thing I did different, was to use pork tenderloin I had to use up. I chopped the pork fine, well not too fine, and continued with the recipe. Either we were really hungry, or it was just that good, but the two of us ate it all...don't tell Mrs.Obama, I'll stay on the treadmill a bit longer.
  • Rod R
    Rod R
    Hello, Is there any reason why I can't make this pork mixture the day before, then reheat and assemble the next day? Thanks for the help!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    While the results may not be exactly the same, you likely still cook the pork the day before and then simply reheat it. Alternatively, you can prep everything but don't cook it. Then the next day, all you have to do it cook it fresh. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Andrew L
    Andrew L
    This was really quite good! Every one hear loved it. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. Another amazing recipe from Rouxbe.
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    I made Pork Lettuce Wraps for a snack this evening and they were phenomenal. It's been awhile since I we've had these in the restaurant so it was nice to have a nostalgic moment in the comfort of our own kitchen, Like Linda C above, I didn't have any ground pork, so I just finely chopped some fresh pork loin pieces that I had in the fridge. I think I'd also like to try this with chicken. I did find this recipe a little salty and remember the restaurant version being a little sweeter so I added some Sweet Chili Sauce (which also cut the saltiness) and a little Asian Five Spice... and... oh my! It was bang on. This is a keeper.
  • Betti I
    Betti I
    I just made this as an appetizer for dinner and it's really good. Super light but very filling and satisfying. I added honey and extra oyster sauce.

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