Sung Choi Bao is a classic Chinese starter that I love because it is so simple and delicious and super easy for a gluten and grain free meal. This recipe is my own paleo interpretation and has the added magic of my toasted spiced brazil nuts. They are like ‘sloppy-joes’ or sandwich wraps but with more nourishing deliciousness. In fact this recipe has become a weekly staple in my kitchen and is a great crowd pleaser for parties. It really is absolutely scrumptious. The best thing about eating Sung Choi Bao though is getting to use your hands! You can serve it as a starter already assembled but my favourite way to eat it is as a main meal with bowls of each layer on the table for everyone to assemble. Because let’s be honest, there really is something quite seductive about eating with your hands, don’t you think?
Serves 4-5 for a main course
750 g Chicken mince
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. of coconut oil for frying
1 carrot, finely diced
1 cob of corn, kernels removed (replace with 3/4 cup of green peas to make it Paleo) and blanched
4 shallots, finely sliced
2 handfuls of green beans, ends removed, blanched and chopped into small pieces.
a dash of fish sauce
1 cup of brazil nuts, chopped into small pieces
1/4 tsp. chilli powder
1/2 tsp. Chinese five spice powder
large pinch of Celtic sea salt
2 limes or lemons, 1 juiced and the other cut into wedges to serve ( lime is best but lemon will be work too)
iceberg or cos lettuce, leaves washed and removed.
1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in large frying pan and add the shallots. Fry on medium heat until soft then add chicken mince. Turn heat up and stir fry until chicken is cooked and going brown. Add all the vegetables and stir fry for 5 minutes or until they are cooked through. Add fish sauce and stir fry for 2 minutes. Take off the heat and finish with juice of 1/2 lime/lemon. Add more lime/lemon to taste if needed. Scoop mince into a serving dish.
2. Heat remaining oil in small frying pan. Add nuts and fry on medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring so they brown easily. Add chilli and five spice and stir to coat the nuts. Add salt and continue to cook until brown. Remove from heat and place in a small serving bowl.
3. Place lettuce leaves on a platter. Bring mince, nuts and lettuce to the table and tell everyone to get their hands in and make some! The way you eat it is scoop a small amount of the mince into a lettuce leaf and top with nuts. You can squeeze some extra lime/lemon on too if you like. Then just wrap it up in the lettuce and enjoy!