recipe

Stir-Fried Lettuce: a fast, tasty Chinese side dish everyone will love

Total time: 15 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist
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Ingredients
iceberg lettuce, washed and leaves separated and dried
1 head
Chinese rice wine
1 1/2 tsp
Soy sauce
2 tsp
Sugar
3/4 tsp
Oil
1 1/2 tsp
Garlic, minced
2 cloves
fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 tsp
red pepper flakes or chili
1/8 to 1/4 tsp
Salt
1/2 tsp
toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp

Stir-fried lettuce is a mouthwatering, quick, and easy Chinese side dish you can make in no time at all. It's a delicious alternative way to enjoy lettuce besides making a salad – Chinese cuisine rarely serves raw vegetables.

Known as chao sheng cài in Mandarin and chow saung choy in Cantonese, stir-fried lettuce is a popular dish to serve during Chinese New Year. It's considered a lucky food for starting off the new year as the Cantonese word for lettuce stands for "growing fortune".

Iceberg lettuce is the most popular type of leafy green for this recipe thanks to the fact it's porous and can absorb all that delicious sauce so well. With its crunchy texture and wonderful savory, spicy flavor, stir-fried lettuce is a fantastic side dish for any occasion!

How to Stir-fry Lettuce

It's so quick and easy to make stir-fried lettuce at home. First, chop your lettuce into 1-inch pieces. Mix Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, and sugar in a bowl, making sure to whisk it well. Cook the ginger, garlic, and chili flakes over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 10 to 20 seconds.

Stir in the lettuce and cook it for 1 to 2 minutes, until the lettuce beings to wilt. Pour the sauce into the wok and cook everything for another 1 to 2 minutes. Take the wok off the heat and add in the sesame oil. Toss to the lettuce to coat, then serve hot.

Tips for the Best Stir-fried Lettuce

If you're not keen on spice, use a smaller amount of red chili flakes or leave them out altogether.

To control the amount of spice in your stir-fried lettuce, try adding in a little bit of chili flakes at a time. Taste as you go and add more as you see fit.

If you don't have Chinese rice wine on hand, you can use dry sherry as a substitute.

You can swap out the lettuce for other types of greens like kale, endives, or romaine lettuce.

For extra flavor, you can add oyster sauce to the stir-fry sauce.

Can You Make Stir-fried Lettuce Ahead of Time?

While it's possible to make stir-fried lettuce in advance, it won't taste as good as when it's prepared and served fresh. Because it's so easy to make, we recommend making stir-fried lettuce just before you plan on serving it.

How to Store Stir-fried Lettuce

Place leftover stir-fried lettuce in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to one day.

Instructions

Cut the lettuce leaves horizontally in 1-inch pieces.

Whisk the Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, and sugar in a bowl to combine.

Heat the oil in a wok. Saute the ginger, garlic, and chili flakes over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 10 to 20 seconds.

Add the lettuce to the wok. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until the lettuce beings to wilt.

Pour the sauce into the wok. Add in the salt. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Take the wok off the heat and add in the sesame oil. Toss to combine, and serve.

Notes

Use low-sodium soy sauce if you're watching your sodium intake.

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