The grocery store down the street was having a big sale on iceberg lettuce, so I bought..a lot! If you're like me and get sick of chomping on salads, this is a great recipe option for the head of lettuce in your fridge that's starting to brown! Sometimes a cooked lettuce or hot stir-fried lettuce is much better than a cold salad.
You may be wondering why anyone would cook lettuce, or how to even cook lettuce, and if cooked lettuce even tastes good. Well, I'm here to let you know that both romaine and iceberg lettuce are great choices for this stir-fried lettuce recipe due to their high water content, fresh taste and crunchiness.
Iceberg lettuce is my favorite choice for stir fried lettuce, and I believe that this recipe is the best way to cook it. This stir-fried lettuce recipe really brings out the true flavor of iceberg lettuce, and after you try it, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for this vegetable!
1 head of iceberg lettuce
2 teaspoons of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic (minced)
Remove the first outer layer of the lettuce and any other discoloured leaves and throw them out. Cut the lettuce into 3-4 inch pieces.
Place the lettuce in a large bowl of cold water and stir it all around. This will wash your lettuce and rehydrate it. Next, drain the lettuce in a strainer and shake it very well, to remove the excess water from the surface of the lettuce. Iceberg lettuce already contains a ton of water, so removing the excess water is very important, or you’ll end up with too much liquid. When I'm in a rush and don't have time for the lettuce to dry out a bit, I use a salad spinner.
Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, sugar, pepper into a small bowl and set aside.
Cooking starts here:
Heat your wok over low heat, and add 2 tablespoons of oil. After about 30 seconds, turn the heat up to the highest setting, and stir in the chopped garlic. Immediately add the iceberg lettuce. Stir-fry everything together, constantly stirring to coat the lettuce uniformly with the oil.
After about 30 seconds, move the lettuce in the middle of the wok in a pile, so you can see the liquid pooling around it in the wok.
Let it cook uncovered for another 15 seconds, and during this time, pour the soy sauce mixture over the lettuce. At this point, the sides of the wok will start to super-heat.
Stir the lettuce in a circular motion while spreading the lettuce out across the wok. This is to get the lettuce and the liquid searing along the sides of the wok, it will intensify the flavour.
After the searing has stopped, repeat the process of gathering the lettuce in the middle of the wok again and letting the sides of the wok heat up again.
By now, the iceberg lettuce should be tender, with the green parts wilted. Stir fried lettuce should be slightly crunchy, so be sure not to overcook it.
It seems like many steps and a lebjtjy process, however, this whole process from start to finish takes less than 2 minutes in the wok.