Vegetarian San Choy Boy

This is one of our 'waste less' faves here at Swag HQ and the ultimate (almost) carb free healthy dish of all time! 

With a great Sauce, you can change up the filling to your taste and based on what's in  season/ your crisper. This delicious, light and satisfying vegetarian take on the chinese classic, San Choy Bow, is a great option if you need to use up any veggies that are on their last days!  

Serves: 4 (2 leaves each)
Preparation time: 15 minutes 
Cooking time: 15 minutes 


To make the sauce from scratch 

  • 1 1/4 tsp cornflour / cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce (can use fish sauce as a substitute)
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce (I use Tamari or sometimes miso paste)
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (I sometimes use Mirin or Japanese rice wine)
  • 1 tsp white sugar or raw honey

To make the filling

  • 1 tbsp peanut oil (or avocado oil/coconut oil/olive oil/sesame oil)
  • 1 clove large garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 100g/ 3.5oz canned water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 5 baby corn or fresh corn on the cob (cut away from the cob)
  • 6 mushrooms (Shiitake or other mushrooms we love Swiss browns finely chopped
  • Brown rice noodles or vermicelli - cooked and finely chopped
  • 8 Large lettuce leaves or cups of your choice
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Finely sliced scallions / shallots

You can also add in finely chopped capsicum, zucchini, squash, spinach, celery, and coriander stalks.


  1. Mix cornflour with 1 tbsp water until lump free. Then add remaining Sauce ingredients and mix.
  2. In a separate saucepan, cook noodles or vermicelli in boiling water until soft, then drain and finely chop
  3. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and ginger, give it a quick stir then add onion.
  4. Cook for 1 minute then add meat (if you are using meat) 
  5. Add the carrots and cook for a couple of minutes. 
  6. Add the rest of the finely chopped vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes until softened and meat is cooked through.
  7. Add Sauce and cook for 1 1/2 minutes or until it thickens and glossy, coating the filling.
  8. Transfer filling into a serving bowl. Lay out lettuce leaves, peanuts and shallots on the side.

To serve, spoon some Filling into a lettuce leaf. Top with peanuts and shallots, bundle it up and enjoy!