• Thai-style lemongrass and chilli san choy bau (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns

There’s an allure to san choy bau that everybody seems to love, yet few people actually cook it at home. It’s a simple dish to prepare and all the ingredients should be available from your local supermarket. Like a lot of Thai-style dishes getting the right balance of flavour is very important so adjust the seasonings to suit what tastes good to you. 






Skill level

Average: 4.8 (1025 votes)


  • 1 ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 small red chillies, finely sliced, plus to serve
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, white part only, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander stems and roots, finely chopped
  • 250 g pork mince
  • 100 g (1 medium) carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 100 g green beans, finely sliced into rounds
  • 1 ½ tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp lime juice, plus extra wedges to serve
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 50 g rice vermicelli, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained
  • iceberg lettuce cups, to serve
  • cucumber slices (optional), to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic, chilli, lemon grass and the coriander stems and roots and cook for 30 seconds. Add the pork and stir fry 1½ – 2 minutes until the pork start starts to change colour. Toss in the carrot, green beans and fish sauce. Stir fry for a further 1–2 minutes until the pork is just cooked. Add the lime juice, and most of coriander leaves and peanuts and toss to combine. Add more fish sauce or lime juice to balance the flavour.

Using scissors roughly snip the rice vermicelli and place a small amount in the base of each lettuce cup. Top with the pork mixture, the remaining coriander and peanuts and a few slices of chilli.

Serve with lime wedges.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Tiffany Page. Creative concept by Lou Fay.