Vegan San Choy Bow (生菜包)

This SCB recipe is quick and easy and makes enough to feed the whole fam. It’s fresh, it’s filling, it’s crunchy and delicious. The water chestnuts are the key ingredient to any good san choy bow, giving that signature little extra bit of crunchiness amongst the savoury mince. 

For this recipe I’m using TVP but you could replace it with maybe 2 packs (that’s a guess!) of vegan mince. TVP is textured vegetable protein, which is naturally gluten-free however if you or if you are cooking for someone celiac, sometimes TVP does get processed in the same place as ingredients containing gluten soy you may need to check for a gluten-free certification if needed. 

The sauces I’m using are soy sauce and vegetarian oyster sauce. If you can’t find the oyster sauce, you can sub for 1-2 tbsp of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) or dark soy sauce or simply more regular soy sauce! As always, don’t forget to taste and add more sauce if you need to before serving! Kecap manis can easily be found gluten-free.

Toppings are a must in my opinion! I highly recommend sprinkling with crushed roasted peanuts, extra green onions and coriander and eating with a splash of sweet chilli sauce. I personally also love adding cooked rice vermicelli (I love the Vietnamese rice vermicelli sheets- banh hoi, they’re perfect for this).

Hope you enjoy this recipe!! I LOVE SAN CHOY BOW SO DANG MUCH (and honestly I think should be spelled sang choi bao but that’s a rant for another time).


Vegan San Choy Bow (生菜包)


Vegan San Choy Bow

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes



  • 3 cups dried textured vegetable protein, TVP (300g)
  • 3 cups boiling water (for soaking TVP)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable stock/broth powder
  • 5 medium dried shiitake mushrooms (optional) (10g)
  • 9 small white mushrooms (115g)
  • 230g  can water chestnuts
  • 1 medium sized carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small single bunch of coriander (optional)
  • 2 large stalks of spring onion (1/2 cup when chopped)
  • small thumb of ginger
  • 2 very loosely packed cups raw bean sprouts (100g)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce *use gluten-free soy sauce to make it gluten-free
  • 1/4 cup vegetarian oyster sauce *sub 1 TBSP gluten-free kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) to make it gluten-free
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1-2 heads of iceberg lettuce (1 for 2 people, 2 for 3-4 people)


  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Roasted peanuts, crushed
  • Chilli
  • Coriander
  • Spring onions
  • Cooked rice vermicelli noodles (recommend banh hoi noodle sheets if you can find them!)
  • Crispys hallots



  • SOAK MUSHROOMS. 30 mins to half an hour before starting, start by soaking your shiitake mushrooms in boiling water and use a plate to submerge them.
  • SOAK AND PREP TVP. This only takes 5-10 mins to rehydrate, so do this before you start chopping veggies! Place TVP into a heatproof bowl with 3 cups of boiling water along with the vegetable broth powder, give it a little stir and then leave to rehydrate.
  • CHOPPING VEGGIES. Finely dice the carrot. Finely dice the mushrooms. Drain the shiitake mushrooms and finely dice. Mince the garlic and ginger. Drain the water chestnuts and finely dice. Cut the coriander in half, separating the leaves from stems, chop the steams and save leaves for topping at the end. Chop spring onions. Lightly rinse bean sprouts. Chop lettuce heads in half and peel/remove some leaves to use as lettuce cups (it’s hard not to rip them but do your best!). Wash lettuce leaves and try to shake off any excess water.


  • Note: timing is for gas stove – you’ll need to cook longer if on electric coils
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large non-stick frypan. When hot, add mushrooms, carrot, shiitake and let cook for 2-3 mins or until the mushrooms start getting some colour.
  • Add garlic and ginger and let cook for another minute or so.
  • Add rehydrated TVP, soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce and pepper and cook for a further 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the chopped spring onions, water chestnuts and coriander stems and cook for a couple minutes more.
  • Try the mix! KEEP IN MIND the mince mix isn’t supposed to be overly salty because you’re eating quite a lot in one go, so keep it a little less salty than you think. Season with a little extra soy sauce, oyster sauce or pepper if needed. If it’s too dry, add a splash of water.
  • Stir in the bean sprouts! If you like and want crunchy bean sprouts, turn the heat off immediately and continue to stir the bean sprouts in. They will cook ever so slightly in the residual heat. I don’t like raw bean sprouts at ALL so I keep the heat on and stir until the bean sprouts are cooked through.
  • Transfer to a large plate for serving and serve with lettuce leaves, sweet chilli sauce and any other toppings you desire!
Keyword Vegan
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Hi, I'm Liz!

Welcome to my blog! We do vegan and plant-based food here. Delicious recipes that are tasty, easy and nourishing for the soul. Recipes that hit the spot, you know? I’ve been plant-based for over 8 years now and love sharing my recipes with you all. Follow along on instagram for more.

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