Chefs' Recipes

Lau's Family Kitchen's vegetarian sang choi bau

A meat-free take on the Cantonese classic.

By Gilbert Lau
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 5 mins cooking (plus soaking)
  • Serves 4
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Mushroom sang choi bau by Lau's Family Kitchen
This vegetarian twist on a classic is not only delicious but is also a fabulous play on textures. It's best served on super-crisp cups of iceberg lettuce – to prepare, chop off the core and soak the head of lettuce in cold water for an hour before separating the leaves.


  • 4 iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 20 gm dried shiitake mushrooms (about 10 small mushrooms), soaked in hot water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra as needed
  • 40 gm green beans, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 100 gm bamboo shoots, finely chopped
  • 100 gm water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce, preferably vegetarian
  • ½ tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • Pinch of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp roasted pine nuts
  • Plum sauce (optional), to serve


  • 1
    Trim lettuce leaves to form small cups, then refrigerate until required.
  • 2
    Drain mushrooms, trim stems, then squeeze excess water from caps. Chop mushrooms so they're similar in size to beans, onion, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts.
  • 3
    Heat oil in a hot wok over high heat until surface is shimmering. Add beans, onion, bamboo shoots, water chestnut, spring onion and mushrooms, stir-fry until almost tender (2 minutes), then add oyster sauce, soy sauce, Shaoxing and sugar and a little more oil if needed, and stir-fry until coated (30 seconds). Adjust seasoning, transfer to a serving bowl, top with pine nuts, and serve with lettuce cups and plum sauce.