Asian Lettuce Wraps: San Choi Bao (GF, Grain Free, Oil Free)

Lettuce wraps, asian lettuce wraps, mince, san choi bao, pf chang, christine's recipes, stirfry, asian, appetizer, asian recipes, low carb meals

“I’m so excited” exclaimed the expecting mother.

I was watching a video that a friend had sent me of a cute little Korean-Australian baby boy  being born to proud parents. The father, all dressed in scrubs, gently picked up his oldest boy to meet his wife and the new baby. In a few seconds, the camera swiftly moved over to spotlight the little infant with his eyes was shut tight and his tiny fist clenched. He was so small! Amongst the chaos surrounding him, his delicate features showed evidence of serenity, peace and innocence. No one could tear their eyes away from the little bundle of joy, especially the mother. Her eager and loving eyes were fixated on her little baby and at that moment, something inside of me just melted. I wonder if the child would ever be able to truly comprehend truly how much his parents loves him?

I excitedly beckoned Zoe to come see the video. As we rewatched it again, thoughts of my own family flooded over me.

“What it was like when Zoe and I were born too?” I wonder would I ever be able to comprehend the feelings my parents must have felt that very moment?Lettuce wraps, asian lettuce wraps, mince, san choi bao, pf chang, christine's recipes, stirfry, asian, appetizer, asian recipes, low carb meals

Every single week I get to Skype them over the internet. Being so far from home, our conversations are limited to about 30-60 minutes a week. It was just about enough time to give an overview of the main events of that particular week. It was still very different from being able to tell them in person. .

Lettuce 4

As I reflected on the video I watched, I felt a little pathetic. Memories of the argument that had just taken place an hour ago  over Skype flooded through my head.

What did I just do?  I had to apologize. I choked back my pride and grabbed my phone to type those words.

“Mum and Dad I’m so sorry…”

It was hard. Apologizing is never easy, but it felt right. I knew they loved me – that video reminded of that.

A sudden beep went off my phone. I looked down and saw a text had just come in. I glanced down at my phone just enough to catch the first few words: “Mum and I love you so much…”.

My eyes teared up. It was good to know that we all felt the same way. I love my Dad and Mum – nothing was worth damaging that relationship.

Lettuce wraps, asian lettuce wraps, mince, san choi bao, pf chang, christine's recipes, stirfry, asian, appetizer, asian recipes, low carb meals

Seriously, “Never let a problem to be solved, become more important than a person to be loved”- (Thomas S Monson).

I’m grateful for these small reminders each day of what matters most in life.

Thank you for always listening to me and worrying about me. I know you pray for me each day. I know I’m not the most patient person and I tend to overreact. But thank you for never being afraid to tell me what I am doing wrong and for putting up with me. Most importantly, thank you for loving me for who I am. 

I love you Mum and Dad. 

Lettuce wraps, asian lettuce wraps, mince, san choi bao, pf chang, christine's recipes, stirfry, asian, appetizer, asian recipes, low carb meals

Lettuce wraps, asian lettuce wraps, mince, san choi bao, pf chang, christine's recipes, stirfry, asian, appetizer, asian recipes, low carb meals

Adapted from Christine’srecipes

Ingredients: serves 3-4

  • 1 head Baby gem lettuce, torn into separate leaves
  • 1 lb Ground Chicken/Beef/Pork/Turkey
  • 1/2 Bag of Frozen Mixed Vegetables
  • 3 tsp  GF Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tsp Doenjang Paste/ White Miso Paste (GF Option)
  • Garnish: Black Pepper, Fresh Mint/Basil

How to Make:

  1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  2. Add in the mince meat and break up using a wooden spatula. When the meat hits the pan, it should start searing immediately. Keep stirring and breaking up the meat.
  3. When most of the meat has turned brown, add in half a bag of mixed frozen vegetables.
  4. Add in the seasonings. Mix carefully. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Mix in black pepper and fresh herbs. Serve with lettuce wraps.

How to Serve:

Traditional Method: Asian Lettuce Wraps is a popular dish  found in many Chinese-American Restaurant Menus. This dish is all about the balance of flavor and texture.  It can be easily made as an appetizer or even a main meal if eaten  with rice for families or even for large parties.

Our Suggestions: We used doenjang instead of Chinese bean paste, because there are gluten free options and it gives it the same sort of flavor and saltiness. Definitely adjust the amount to your taste. I would recommend using ground turkey or chicken to lower the fat content. Fresh herbs would be excellent addition in this dish. It is an inexpensive, healthy and impressive dish to make!


Meat: The original recipe uses pork, but any sort of ground meat would be great for this recipe. Turkey and chicken would be leaner, but beef and pork would work just as well.

You can play around with this recipe. They all taste just as good. And we have tried it with all 3.

Doenjang: You could use Chinese bean paste, however this is not gluten free.

Vegetables: Any combination of vegetables would be great in this recipe. Just make sure they are bitesized pieces e.g. Chestnuts, celery would be great!

(This Post is featured on Hearth and SoulTurn it Up TuesdaysLet’s Be FriendsTwinkly TuesdayTwo Cup TuesdaysWow Me Wednesdays)


Zoe & Mia


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Jakijellz says:

    I have never made anything like this. I have to say I’m not particularly inventive in the kitchen. They do look lovely though. #twinklytuesday


    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thanks so much!!! I hope you get to try this out it really is delicious! I personally am not super inventive but its amazing that once in awhile when inspiration hits it feels pretty awesome! Thanks for stopping by!


  2. It is hard living far from your family. I immigrated to England from Canada in my early twenties and it was a challenge being so far away. Luckily we were able to visit often, and my parents visited us too, but you are right to cherish your time with your family. I miss my parents, who passed away in 2007/2008, every day. Love the quote you shared – that is so true! Your San Choi Bao look amazing, real comfort food, and so wholesome too. Scheduled a tweet. Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Hop.


    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thank you so much April! I am grateful you shared your experience too! It is amazing to see that really what matters most is the people you love. And I can’t help but think how many people feel this way too and can relate to our experience of being far from home.
      It seems like you and your parents had a wonderful, loving relationship and time together! I know that even now they are looking down on you everyday, proud of your achievements and grateful for the time you sacrificed to spend with them! Can’t wait to see the tweet!


  3. I’ve just popped by to say that I’ve featured this post at the Hearth and Soul Link Party this week and saw your reply to my comment. I’m really touched by your kind words. Thank you so much.


  4. Eva says:

    This was a really sweet post! And these lettuce wraps look SO delicious, plus they seem simple which is always helpful! 🙂


    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thanks Eva! They really are 🙂 Perfect for a quick dinner! So simple but absolutely delicious! Hope you enjoy them! Thanks for stopping by!


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