You might be asking yourself what exactly is yuk sung? Yuk sung is a kind of Chinese salad wrap, typically with a spicy minced meat filling.
It is a popular Chinese starter, however also a great item to put on a party buffet. Serving Chinese finger food does not necessarily mean deep fried spring rolls.
Altogether, yuk sung is a fresh and tasty dish that can be made in only 30 minutes. So, as you can see, you can replicate this recipe in a matter of minutes.
Moreover, a plate of freshly made yuk sung is a light and refreshing lunch to serve for friends in the garden on a sunny day. Once you try this recipe for yuk sung, I’m sure it will be one of your new favourites.
products you need for this recipeHere is my list of top things you’ll need for making this exceptional yuk sung recipe. Or any other Asian starter for that matter. Check out these products below and see which ones you are missing:
- water chestnuts – in case you don’t find any in the store, make sure you order them. The yuk sung won’t taste the same without them.
- reusable chopsticks – as with any Asian recipe, you can enjoy this yuk sung with Chinese chopsticks.
- bottle of sake – why not enjoy this starter with a Japanese sake as well?
- soy sauce – always go for a premium bottle of soy sauce for any type of Asian recipe.
- hoisin sauce – I adore hoisin sauce. You can also use it to flavour the yuk sung for an extra bit of complexity.
- set of premium knives – chopping those vegetables will be a lot easier with a good, high-quality knife.
Chicken yuk sung
One of the classic fillings for yuk sung is minced chicken mixed with vegetables. For my yuk sung, I have used minced chicken mixed with carrot, mushrooms and water chestnuts.
Chicken mince is a nice lean form of protein, which you can spice to your taste. It’s the go-to mince meat if you wish to watch your waistline while still consuming meat.
Chicken is one of the leanest of meats, so feel free to munch away. You can also substitute the chicken with turkey. Of course, you can also use other types of mince like pork, lamb or beef. However, I recommend sticking to the white meat.
If you’ve got leftover mince, you can also make these delicious mince recipes:
- savoury mince – a recipe similar to a jacket potato
- slimming world spaghetti Bolognese – a classic recipe that’s a must when you’ve got mince at home
- air fryer meatballs – a delicious meatballs recipe which you can make with any type of mince
Next, the sweetness of the carrots and the earthiness of the mushrooms create a unique blend of flavours that make yuk sung so delicious.
Combined with the crunchy texture of the water chestnuts, as well as the fresh salad wrap and herbs on top, yuk sung is simply an amazing flavour bomb.
Minced pork yuk sung recipe
A popular variation of yuk sung is minced pork yuk sung. Basically, you replace the chicken mince with pork mince as the protein in the filling. In addition, you can choose different spice combinations and different vegetables to go with the pork mince if you like.
The possibilities are almost endless, so don’t be afraid to be creative and come up with your own yuk sung filling. One way to do it, is to think what normally works well with pork.
For the vegetables, you could use white or red cabbage, garlic and ginger, just to name one combination. Alternatively, mix the pork mince with red bell pepper, onion and finely chopped white Chinese radish.
If you have discovered the perfect yuk sung filling, please share with us and leave a comment below this article.
If you love pork, you should also try this Chinese bbq pork stir fry.
Vegetarian yuk sung
A great thing about this recipe is that it is extremely easy to make a vegetarian or even vegan version of it. Instead of minced meat you can use tofu instead and that way still have some protein in the dish.
By the way, if you think tofu is bland, check out my recipe for tofu in black bean sauce!
For a lighter option, replace the minced meat with finely chopped cauliflower. Season well with garlic, ginger and chilli, and you have an amazing vegan filling for your homemade yuk sung. Other options could be to use boiled lentils or quinoa.
How to choose the right lettuce
In order to have a good portion size and a yuk sung that will keep together you need to go for a crisp type of lettuce. This could be romaine salad for example. These salad leaves are quite sturdy, meaning the starter will not fall apart in your hands while eating it.
Moreover, the leaves are the perfect portion size for a delicate starter as well as for party food. Not to mention the blend of textures you get in a bite of crisp lettuce alongside the filling. Therefore, beware of soggy salad!
In order to complete the Asian flavours, and not least the visual impression of the dish, you need a topping. The classic topping for yuk sung is fresh coriander, sliced spring onions and freshly sliced red chillies.
If fresh red chilli is a tad too spicy for your taste you can leave it out, or replace with finely diced red bell pepper instead. The coriander is in my opinion a must for an Asian dish like yuk sung.
That being said, you either love coriander or you don’t. If the latter is the case, replace with another green herb, such as parsley or watercress, or simply stick to tops from spring onions. For something slightly different you can sprinkle with sesame seeds.
So, how would you serve your yuk sung? Let me know in the comments section below.
- 15ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
- 450g (1lb) chicken mince
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 225g (½lb) mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped
- 6 water chestnuts, finely chopped
- 15ml (1 tbsp) Chinese Five Spice
- 45ml (3 tbsp) dark soy sauce
- 30ml (2 tbsp) Chinese rice wine
- 15ml (1 tbsp) honey
- 15ml (1 tbsp) sesame oil
- 4 gem lettuce, washed
- 4 spring onions, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 2 red chillies, washed and thinly sliced
- Fresh coriander leaves, for garnishing
- Heat the oil in a large wok.
- Fry the chicken mince over a high heat until browned, which should take about 3 minutes.
- Tip in the carrots, mushrooms and chestnuts. Fry for another 3 minutes.
- Stir in the Chinese Five Spice, then pour in the soy sauce, rice wine and honey.
- Stir fry at high heat and ensure the sauce bubbles and eventually dries up so that you don’t end up with soggy mince.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in sesame oil.
- Place the mince in a serving dish, with lettuce leaves on the side so that guests can help themselves. Alternatively, wait for the meat to cool down a bit and fill each lettuce cup with the chicken, then place on a serving platter. Perfect for parties!
- Sprinkle with spring onions, red chillies and coriander. Enjoy!
- Traditionally, Yuk Sung is made with pork mince, but in this case I used chicken. Feel free to experiment with lamb and beef mince!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Starter
- Method: Stir Fry
- Cuisine: Chinese
Keywords: yuk sung, chicken yuk sung, pork yuk sung recipe, Chinese takeaway recipe, Chinese starter recipe