Whenenver I feel festive, I love to make food that… is well, you know a little fiddly to eat like fajitas, vietnamese rice paper rolls and in this instance, san choy bao. It’s a luxury to spend a little longer than usual at the dining table, chatting and taking our sweet time to go through the abundance of food. For me, it’s part of celebrating. Furthermore, I find the act of assembling my meal at the dinner table enjoyable.

Whilst san choy bao is normally a starter to most people, I wouldn’t mind it as a meal on its own even though you may need to have 3 to 4 times of the amount fill you up. It is super easy to make and do expect a lot of flavours despite the ingredients may not seem like it.

And I would like to wish you a Happy Chinese New Year for those who celebrate. 🙂

Smoked Chicken, Apple & Capsicum San Choy Bao

What you’ll need to make about 15 San Choy Bao (feed about 2 people as a meal):-

  • 1 iceberg lettuce
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 300g (11 ounces) smoked chicken breast, diced
  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), deseeded & diced
  • 2 – 3 green apples, diced
  • A pinch of salt
  • Chives, chopped *optional*

Drizzle sauce:-

  • 1/8 cup soy sauce (I used Kikkoman brand)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds


Prepare your lettuce by removing the damaged outer leaves. Use a small sharp knife (steak knife is ideal), slit around the core and start peeling the lettuce leaves, gently. For the bigger leaves, I actually slit them into smaller pieces. Set aside the lettuce in the fridge while preparing the filling. Heat a teaspoon of oil in the pan and saute the smoked chicken over medium flame until heated through. Then add diced capsicum saute until slightly soften. Remove the pan from the heat and add diced apples and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine and set aside. To prepare the sauce, simply combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well mixed. To serve: spoon the fillng into a lettuce leaf, top with chopped chives and a light drizzle of the soy-maple sauce. Enjoy!

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