Prawn san choy bow

Love prawns? This succulent option is an enticing entree for summer. 


1 Iceberg lettuce
1.5kg green prawns, peeled, deveined and diced
6 shiitake, finely chopped (see tips)
1 small carrot, finely chopped
8 water chestnuts, finely chopped
100ml vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 green onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons shao xing (see tips)
¼ cup oyster sauce
1 tablespoon thick soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornflour, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water

1 teaspoon castor sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil


1. Remove outer lettuce leaves and reserve for another dish. Cut out and discard the stem of the lettuce, hold lettuce under cold running water and gently remove 12 intact outer leaves. Trim into neat ‘cups’, put in a large bowl of iced water and refrigerate until needed.

2. Make Marinade: combine all ingredients

3. Stir marinade vigorously through the prawn meat until well combined. Stir through shiitake, carrot and water chestnut.

4. Combine oyster sauce, soy sauce and cornflour mixture.

5. Heat wok, add oil, then garlic and green onions, stirring for 30 seconds.

6. Add prawn mixture and toss for a couple of minutes, until prawn turns pink.

7. Add shao xing and stir for a minute or so, until most of the liquid has evaporated, then add oyster sauce mixture, stirring until it boils and thickens slightly.

8. Drain lettuce cups, fill with prawn mixture, wrap and eat.


Shiitake are Asian mushrooms available fresh from many fruit and vegetable shops; if they
are unavailable use oyster mushrooms. Shao xing is Chinese cooking wine, available from Asian grocery stores.

Alternative species: bugs, cuttlefish, marron, rocklobsters, squid.