Lettuce Delight

This is a failsafe take on the good ol’ san choy bau. I can’t bring myself to call it that because it really tastes nothing like any that I have ever had, besides, it has no Asian flavours in it. The bean shoots I use were from our little kitchen garden. I let the mung bean sprouts go a few extra days and lo and behold, we had full blown bean shoots…mind you, a fair bit greener than what you buy in the shops but much tastier! I’m now wishing I had taken a photo of them because they looked so impressive, but my head was thumping last night and it was an effort just to cook the meal.

I serve this in a large bowl in the middle of the table and everyone fills their own lettuce cups. Of course you could fill the cups and serve them on individual plates. My kids love the involvement of making up their own.

1 1/2 kgs of lean mince (you could use chicken mince if you prefer)
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stalk finely diced
8 – 10 onions, finely sliced and the white and light green firm bits separated from the darker green bits
2 cups of wombok, finely cut
2 cups of bean shoots
3 – 4 cloves of crushed garlic
3 tsps of salt
3/4 cup of pear juice
2 tbsps of maple syrup or brown sugar
3 tsps of citric acid
3 tbsps of oil
1 iceberg lettuce

Gently separate the lettuce cups and wash, then set aside to drain. In a wok or large fry pan, heat the oil over high heat until smoking hot. Add the celery, carrot and firm parts of the spring onions and stir fry for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir fry another minute then toss in the mince and brown. Add the pear juice, salt, citric acid, maple syrup and wombok and simmer, stirring regularly for about 15 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Stir through the bean shoots and remove from heat then add the greens of the spring onions.

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