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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Chinese Sauteed Lettuce with Oyster Sauce

Chinese Sauteed Lettuce with Oyster Sauce 1

I bought a bag with three heads of romaine lettuce that I intended to eat with my homemade Caesar Salad Dressing, but I was feeling too lazy to run to the store to buy anchovies and Parmesan cheese. Plus, there was all that mincing and chopping.

I've always much preferred to eat my vegetables via soups rather than salads, but it was late August, the dog days of summer, and I was in the midst of working 12 days in a row. Exhausted! Hungry!

I needed vegetables and I needed them in minutes. So recalling that I wanted to try making the cooked lettuce I ate at Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant - Rosemead and, more recently, at Mama's Lu Dumpling House - Monterey Park, I decided to treat lettuce like I treat most vegetables -- I sauteed it with just a bit of oyster sauce.

Oh my!

It was so good that I made it again a few nights later.

Cooked, lettuce has a lovely sweetness that's enhanced with oyster sauce. Just saute it until wilted so the lettuce retains its crispness. Perfect as a complement to many dishes, but I ate this as a meal with rice and salmon.

Chinese Sauteed Lettuce with Oyster Sauce 2

Chinese Sauteed Lettuce with Oyster Sauce

For two servings, you'll need:
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped into 2-inch pieces
2 tsp Chinese Oyster Sauce or other thick black sauce of your choice

Chop the romaine lettuce into 2-inch pieces. Wash and drain in a colander.

Chinese Sauteed Lettuce with Oyster Sauce 3

In a pan on medium-high heat, add about 2 tsp oyster sauce.

Chinese Sauteed Lettuce with Oyster Sauce 4

Add the lettuce.

Chinese Sauteed Lettuce with Oyster Sauce 5

Stir to make sure it's evenly coated in oyster sauce.

Chinese Sauteed Lettuce with Oyster Sauce 6

In minutes, the lettuce will wilt.

Chinese Sauteed Lettuce with Oyster Sauce 7

That's it! Plate and serve with rice or fish.

Chinese Sauteed Lettuce with Oyster Sauce 8


Other vegetable side dishes:
Bok Choy Sauteed with Garlic
Chinese Eggplant Salad
Chinese Lettuce Wraps with Chicken, Water Chestnuts, and Bell Peppers
Chinese Tomato Egg Shrimp Stir-Fry
Kinpira (Japanese Sauteed Gobo Root (Burdock) and Carrot Matchsticks)
Longan Chicken Radicchio Wraps
Rau Den Luoc (Vietnamese Boiled Amaranth Greens)
Rau Den Xao Chao (Vietnamese Amaranth/Chinese Red Spinach Sauteed with Fermented Bean Curd)
Rau Muong Xao Toi Chao (Vietnamese Water Spinach Stir-fried with Garlic and Fermented Bean Curd)
Sichuan Green Beans
Shishito Peppers with Chinese XO Sauce
Steamed Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli) with Oyster Sauce
Sukju Namul (Korean Seasoned Mung Bean Sprouts)
Su Su Xao Tom (Vietnamese Chayote Sauteed with Shrimp)

1 year ago today, Cinespia Cemetery Screenings - Hollywood Forever Cemetery - Los Angeles.
2 years ago today, Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum - Albuquerque - New Mexico.
3 years ago today, How to Eat a Pomegranate.
4 years ago today, Bollini's Pizzeria Napolitana - Monterey Park.


  1. Hi wandering chopsticks:) I finally can comment on your blog, because I finally got off my lazy butt and created one lol. Just wanna say thank you for all the amazing recipe.
    This one is interesting though. I never think of stir frying lettuce. It's so fixed in my mind you know, like cabbage for stir frying, lettuce for salads... I might give it a try though

  2. I'm intrigued. It sounds delicious!

  3. Glad to know I'm not the only one who stir fries lettuce. I always add the sauce last. I'll have to try your method.

  4. i never thought of doing this. this is so inspiring!!!

  5. This is my new favorite--thank you! I love lettuce prepared this way, especially now as the weather s turning cooler. Quick and easy.

  6. Noob Cuisine,
    It was weird to me the first time I saw it on a Chinese restaurant menu, but I've grown to like it a lot. I think it's the Western mindset. Lettuce=salad and it's hard to disassociate it from that.

    It's something different for when you're tired of salads.

    Scrapper Al,
    Hmm. I haven't tried added the sauce after. You mean like gai lan with oyster sauce at dim sum? This way, it ends up like a stir-fry.

    Do it!

    Yeah, definitely a way to get your "salad" in the winter.

  7. My father in law makes this about every other day. There are a few differences though. He heats a bit of oil and quickly cooks about 6 cloves of smashed garlic (lay an unpeeled clove on the cutting board and then press on it with the side of a butcher knife or a sturdy wok spatula the skin can easily be removed this way). He quickly sautées it with soy sauce and oyster sauce. Takes only a few minutes to make and it's a refreshing change to salads with fattening dressings. If I made it I would add a splash of sesame oil at the end


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