Chinese-Style Stir-Fried Lettuce

Chinese-style Stir-fried lettuce

Have you ever made the mistake of buying a big head of lettuce when you already had another whole head in the fridge? Or had a surplus from your CSA farm share? This easy stir-fry is a good way to use lettuce, whether excess or not. It’s best to use crisp lettuce like romaine for this. The leaves become slightly tender and the midribs stay nice and crisp when prepared this way. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

Serves: 6 as a side dish

  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 medium or large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 teaspoon natural granulated sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, to taste
  • Dried hot red pepper flakes to taste, optional
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced for garnish, optional
  • 2 teaspoons black or tan sesame seeds for garnish, optional

Heat the oil in a stir-fry pan or wide skillet. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until golden.

Meanwhile, wash the romaine leaves without separating them from the stem. Shake out the excess water, then lay on a cutting board. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch wide shreds.

Add the lettuce to the stir-fry pan and cover just until it wilts down a bit, about 2 minutes. Then uncover, sprinkle in the sugar and stir-fry for another minute or so.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in the sesame oil for extra flavor. Embellish with any or all of the optional ingredients, then serve at once.

Nutrition Information
Per serving: Calories: 37;  Total Fat: 2g;  Protein: 0g;  Carbs: 2g;  Sodium: 3mg

Chinese-style Stir-fried lettuce


3 comments on “Chinese-Style Stir-Fried Lettuce

  1. Patsy

    WOW who would of thought this would be soo good.. Lettuce ,its just not for salad anymore. =) I made this just awhile ago, I used 2 romaine’s instead of one, and I have 4 adults and 1 child and its all gone.. that’s how good it is.. but I am going to make a big batch of this with dinner ,but I am going to add some fresh broccoli and maybe some fresh green beans.. I think I will cook the green beans and broccoli with the garlic and onion so they will soften up before the lettuce. I also did use some garlic salt with parsley for seasoning, instead of just salt and pepper .. yumm this is a great recipe, thank you for coming up with it. =)

  2. Heidi

    Made this today. We had three heads of lettuce from our CSA share and were tired of salads. We stir fried two heads of lettuce along with broccoli, peppers, onion, and mushrooms. It turned out great!

  3. Nava Post author

    I’m glad you found this useful, and adding all those other colorful veggies is a great idea. Next time you have a surplus of lettuce, try our cold Coconut Cream of Lettuce soup. So refreshing …

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