My pantry

Hunger Aversion and San Choy Bow

June 1, 2013

san choy bow ingredientsIn my past life I think I was hungry.

I don’t mean hungry as in  –

Mmmmm, I could really go a tast-y bur-ger

I mean hungry as in on serious rations, or even starving.

Work with me here………

I have an intense NEED to keep a well stocked pantry. If I don’t have what I feel is sufficient dry goods, I feel like we’re running low and it makes me feel uncomfortable.
I don’t feel this way about convenience foods, as Mister H will purport. He will often look into our fridge or pantry and be all –

There is nothing to eat in this house!

When in actual fact if he fancied soaking some lentils, boiling some quinoa or rice, and opening some tins, there’s enough to feed a small, yet hungry, army of legume lovers.

I have met people better stocked than myself, but as far as the average family larder looms, I am dry store personified…..and let’s not even start on my herb and spice cupboard. It’s stocked yet shameful.

I can’t find a damned thing.

One time, (not at band camp) I was climbing Mount Ramelau, East Timor’s highest mountain, approximately a 5 hour round trip and I was so freaked out about rations that I got nervous when we bumped onto some locals and my climbing mates wanted to share our rations. We’d been driving since pre-dawn,  and had a light breakfast of bread rolls and oranges and watched the sun rise before setting off.

We did take the long way, meaning, we got lost, and ended up walking up some twisty turny goat tracks and ended up doing some proper mountain climbing. Sort of.

I was terrified of being stuck up that mountain with only the box of Arnott’s Barbeque Shapes and my emaciated corpse one day being discovered clutching the remnants of a chewed box.

Mount Ramelau, East Timor

Mount Ramelau, East Timor

Needless to say, we found a road and walked down with ease and we were home in time for a hearty lunch and all of my woes were forgotten in a flurry of fish and beans and rice.

San Choy Bow is not East Timorese, in fact, I have no idea how that story popped up just now….I’d forgotten it.

I had a beautiful time in East Timor. I learned some stuff about life there.

Some big stuff.

I met people who had lived through horrific things and yet they still smiled and laughed and lit up when they saw us.
I went to an orphanage and saw the most divine little angels, some scarred physically, all scarred mentally and watched those kids jump around trying to catch bubbles in the afternoon sun, giggling with delight when they burst and disappeared.

Yep, I learned some big stuff in East Timor.

san choy bow

What you will need :

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cm, ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 500g pork mince, or chicken if you prefer.
  • 100g water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions
  • 100g rice vermicelli
  • 2 tablespoons shao xing wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • a big handful of chopped coriander
  • friend onions and chopped peanuts or cashews for serving
  • chilli sauce for serving


What you need to do :

Wash your lettuce leaves and set aside to dry.

Pour boiling water over your noodles in a bowl and leave to sit for ten minutes or until soft. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy fry pan, on a medium stove, and chuck in your garlic and ginger. When deliciously fragrant, add your mince.

When the mince is cooked chuck in your carrots and celery stirring well to combine.
When they’re softened toss your spring onions, water chestnuts, shao xing, oyster and soy sauce and pepper in and give a good shimmy.

Cut your noodles into 1.5cm(ish) pieces and stir through, adding the coriander as you go.

Place your mince mix into the lettuce cups, garnish with fried onion and nuts.
I love this with Chinese chilli sauce, so sauce away and banish hunger!

Dex ate this as is, and I put a couple of tablespoons through some mashed avocado for Kiki. They were most happy to have their hunger banished in this style.

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  • Reply starryslippers June 1, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Sounds a very convincing argument to me, I think my son might have too, or at least suffered a terribly late lunch in a previous life.

  • Reply Cooker and a Looker June 2, 2013 at 7:45 am

    I think we’re kindred spirits Mrs H – if you saw my pantry you’d be forgiven for thinking I was a child of the depression!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys June 2, 2013 at 7:51 am

      It comforts me to know you have enough supplies too. More than you could know.


      Sent from my iPhone

      On 02/06/2013, at 7:45 AM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

  • Reply keladelaide June 3, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I love the back story to this recipe. Your corpse image with the box is still in my mind. Lol

  • Reply Strange BBQ beasts, and Moroccan Chicken Pie | Keeping Up With The Holsbys April 15, 2014 at 7:32 am

    […] for fussy eaters because the flavour is fairly innocuous. It would work it’s butt off with my San Choy Bow recipe, or my Curried […]

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