Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Wonders of Mince (Part 1): Sang Choy Bao Salad

Whenever I watch Huey's Cooking Adventures, I always have a bit of a chuckle at how he always uses the same base ingredients: crushed garlic, one onion, one large carrot and a stick or two of celery, all finely diced.

As I was preparing dinner last night, though, I realised that my most successful meals for Master W usually contain these same ingredients - and mince.  I also add whatever other vegies I have in the fridge at the time, and he eats them all!  

I know - it's not exactly ground-breaking stuff, but this is why I love mince.  All the meat and vegies are a similar size and all in the sauce together, so it's difficult for the kiddies to pick and choose what they will and won't eat. So I thought I'd do a series of my favourite mince recipes that are also popular with my toddler, and hopefully they will be with yours too!

First up: a twist on the classic Sang Choy Bao for those who are feeling too lazy to eat it the traditional way (which is me, most of the time!) and for toddlers who don't yet have the coordination to keep the filling in the lettuce cup while they munch on it.

What I love most about this dish is the variety of textures in each mouthful - the chewiness of the mince, the crunch of the water chestnuts, the mushiness of the rice and the crispness of the lettuce - not to mention the mouth-wateringly tasty sauce.

Sang Choy Bao Salad (serves 4)

1.5 cups raw basmati or jasmine rice
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
500g minced meat (beef, chicken or pork)
2 cups finely diced vegetables (e.g. carrot, celery, zucchini, beans... whatever is in the fridge)
230g water chestnuts, finely diced
100g char sui sauce
3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsbp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

To serve
1/2 head of Cos or Iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 spring onions, finely choppped
2 tbsp char sui sauce (extra)
1 tbsp oyster sauce (extra)

1. Cook rice as you would normally (personally, I love my rice cooker).  Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large wok on medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic until onion is translucent.

2. Add meat to the wok and stir to break up the lumps. Cook until browned.

3. Add the vegetables and water chestnuts and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, then add sauces and sesame oil. Cook for an additional minute.

4.  Combine the extra char sui and oyster sauces in a small container.

5. To serve, combine the meat mix, rice and lettuce in a bowl, then drizzle with the extra sauce and spring onions.

I hope you like it as much as we do!  Coming up in parts 2 & 3 of my mince series: Shepherd's Pie and Low-Guilt Lasagne.

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