Thursday, 30 January 2014

Vegetarian Yuk Sung for Chinese New Year

Chinese communities all over the world are preparing to celebrate Chinese New Year and welcome in the Year of the Horse
The festivities have been broadly adopted by Western culture with many restaurants holding special banquets and many major cities mark the event by organising public festivals for all to participate in. 
I know a Chinese lady who often says she uses Chinese New Year as a ‘fresh start’ if the western 1st of January new year hasn’t started off to her advantage and perhaps there is a little of that that has crept into all our psyches.
I for one love the colourful displays, the playful lion/dragon dance, the chance to wear something red to enhance my prosperity and of course, eat delicious Chinese food.
I am very faithful to my vegetable chow mein option when ordering Chinese food but equally, when I spot it, I love having vegetarian yuk sung and I enjoy creating the little parcels from the hot soy mince and vegetables laced with soy sauce and I love wrapping them up in crisp, cool iceberg lettuce leaves. 
Celebrate the Year of the Horse with a feast of your own by trying my vegetarian yuk sung recipe for yourself and here’s hoping for a good year ahead! 
Happy New Year!  Or to be exact, "Kung Hei Fat Choy!!"

Vegetarian Yuk Sung

Serves 2-3 as a main course


1 head of Iceberg Lettuce
150g Soy Mince
220g tin Water Chestnuts
1 nest of Vermacelli
Half a Red Onion (diced)
Half a Red Pepper (diced)
Half a Carrot (thinly diced)
1 Celery stick (thinly sliced)
4 Mushrooms (sliced and diced)
2 Garlic Cloves (chopped)
2cm of Ginger (thinly diced)
1 tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 red chilli (chopped) (Optional)
Salt & Pepper
Vegetable oil



  • Separate the leaves of the iceberg lettuce, wash and dry gently.  Set to one side.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan.
  • Fry the garlic and ginger together.
  • Add the red onion.
  • Crumble the vermicelli nest into small pieces into the saucepan.
  • Gently mix together.
  • Add the soy mince and coat in the oily mixture.
  • Add the carrot, red pepper, mushrooms, celery and water chestnuts.
  • Add the soy sauce, ground ginger and chilli if using.
  • Add a grinding of salt & pepper and mix thoroughly.
  • Heat and mix regularly for at least 5-10 minutes until all the ingredients have cooked through.
  • Taste a sample and amend the seasoning if required.
  • Place the iceberg lettuce leaves on plates and when the yuk sung is ready, place a good spoonful of mixture in each lettuce leaf.
  • Wrap the leaf around the mixture and enjoy!






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