Turkey San Choy Bow

There’s something cool about wrapping food in lettuce leaves

I’d previously dismissed Tom Kerridge as a British classics / gastro pub chef but that was doing him a great disservice. As well as succeeding on his phenomenal weight loss journey, Tom’s grasp of low-calorie Asian food and flavours is brilliant, as evidenced in his Lose Weight for Good book.

Turkey San Choy Bow is one recipe I was really keen to try, partly because the name remains me of the Karate Kid and Mr Miyagi shouting, “Daniel san!”. Joking aside, this is a mouthwatering dish and only 260 calories per serving. I love the concept of serving the meat, vegetables and Asian flavours in lettuce leaves – it’s tonnes more satisfying than having rice and better for your waistline.

If you like the concept of this, but are pushed for time, I’d also recommend Justine Pattison’s turkey lettuce wraps. Similarly, if you’ve got beansprouts and water chestnuts leftover, have a go at the Hairy Dieters’ chicken stir-fry.

Recipe: Turkey San Choy Bow

Calories: 260 calories per serving

Serves: 2

Book: Tom Kerridge – Lose Weight for Good

Prep time: Approx 30 mins

Cooking time: Approx 15 mins


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ onion (finely sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 2.5cm piece of ginger (finely grated)
  • 1 red chilli (finely chopped)
  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1 large carrot (julienned)
  • 1 courgette (julienned)
  • 125g baby chestnut mushrooms (quartered)
  • 75g tinned water chestnuts (sliced)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 6 spring onions (finely sliced on an angle)
  • A handful of coriander leaves (chopped)
  • 4 baby gem lettuce (leaves separated)

Cost per portion: Approx £1.92


Heat a large non-stick wok over a high heat and add the oil. When it is very hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the turkey mince to the work and stir-fry for 5-10 minutes, until it is just starting to brown, breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon as it cooks.

Toss in the carrot, courgette, mushrooms and water chestnuts and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce and rice wine vinegar and cook for 2 minutes or until the liquor has bubbled away.

Stir through the bean sprouts, spring onions and chopped coriander and take off the heat.

Serve with the little gem leaves alongside to use as lettuce cups.


2 thoughts on “Turkey San Choy Bow

  1. I use baby gems a lot for food wraps (great texture and fresh crunch) so love recipes like this.

    This is not directly related but I remember watching Rick Stein’s travels across India TV series (forgot the series title) some years back now and in one episode he’s in a communal eating hall. Banana leaves were the plates and they ate with their fingers. After finishing they wrapped up the banana leaves and gave to the cows. No waste.

    Thai food is great for your immune system, low calorie, healthy, full flavour spice…


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