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 Romaine Lettuce
- 6 cloves of chopped garlic
- 2 table spoons of Canola Oil
- Cut Romaine Lettuce into pieces about 2 inches wide
- Wash Romaine Lettuce
- Heat up the wok (or sauté pan) for 30 seconds and add Canola Oil
- Add chopped garlic into the wok and stir fry for 1 minute
- 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.