Easiest Chinese Stir-Fry Recipe – Romaine Lettuce

A Bite of Spring – Romaine Lettuce

When my friend Emmy visited from Taiwan last year, and the subject turned to food, as it often does with me, I told her, “I miss Ei-a Vegetable but it’s almost impossible to find any in the US.”  (For those who’ve never heard of it, Ei-a Vegetable is commonly known as “A” Vegetable.  Taiwanese use the English letter “A” to preserve this vegetable’s Taiwanese pronunciation.)  Sensing my chagrin, Emmy hit me with this secret, “A Vegetable is a cousin of Romaine Lettuce.  You can just use Romaine for stir-fry.”  Suddenly I saw lettuce in a whole new light.

A Vegetable is basically baby Romaine lettuce. The leaves are a little smaller, and they’re a lighter green, but the taste is similar.  Using “Western” lettuce as an ingredient to make a Chinese dish is the essence of my blog (and my life in New York City) – “When East Meets West.”  Romaine is no longer just for Caesar Salad.  It’s related to my beloved home vegetable, it’s a fresh bite of spring, and it’s also the key ingredient in the easiest Chinese stir-fry recipe you’ll ever find.

Romaine Lettuce Stir-Fry Recipe


  1. 1 Romaine Lettuce
  2. 6 cloves of chopped garlic
  3. 2 table spoons of Canola Oil


  1. Cut Romaine Lettuce into pieces about 2 inches wide
  2. Wash Romaine Lettuce
  3. Heat up the wok (or sauté pan) for 30 seconds and add Canola Oil
  4. Add chopped garlic into the wok and stir fry for 1 minute
  5. Add Romaine Lettuce and stir fry for 1.5 minutes then add salt in the last 20 seconds before serving

A hearty thank you to Emmy for her great suggestion!

So go out there, get a head of Romaine, cook up this simple dish and let me know how you like it.  I hope this recipe will inspire you to cook many more healthy Chinese dishes.

Cut Romaine Lettuce into pieces about 2 inches wide.

Saute garlic in the wok for 1 minute.

4 thoughts on “Easiest Chinese Stir-Fry Recipe – Romaine Lettuce

  1. yoko

    I wonder when the Taiwanese started to grow “A” vegetable. Isn’t it considerably new vegetable in Taiwan? My grandma’s generation had hard time adjusting themselves to a new veggie dish, fresh salad. She preferred potato salad since it was cooked potatoes. Japanese didn’t eat raw vegetable till mid 20th C. Is it same in Taiwan?

  2. Frida Lee Post author

    Good points, Yoko! Most Asians prefer cooked vegetable than salad. The only raw vegetable dish I can think of is Pork Stir-Fry Lettuce Wraps. We use lettuce as a dish to hold the pork stir-fry and we eat the food along with the dish itself. I love it.

  3. Renee

    I am going to try a variation on this very interesting recipe with some romaine I have that is about to expire! Glad I found this blog, it is very intriguing!

  4. Susana

    Its so funny you wrote this

    Just last week I found a vegetable, labeled as Taiwanese vegetable and thought “I always thought I was eating lettuce out there”

    Rebecca makes a dish with ice berg lettuce.

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