Notable Nosh: Lettuce with Oyster Sauce

Lettuce with Oyster Sauce

Lettuce is pretty much eaten exclusively raw in the west, and the idea of it in a cooked dish will strike many as odd. I recall, though, a Chinese woman being interviewed who, on being told of this, replied that, in all her years in China, she had never heard of it being eaten raw… only cooked. There is a lesson there, I suppose, but, suffice to say, both ways are good…

Actually, it is surprising that cooked lettuce doesn’t turn up on many menus in Chinese restaurants as it is certainly cheap and, one would think, fairly easy to prepare. I probably would have tried it before, if this was the case, but the offering you see above is my first experience with the dish.

I was surprised, when I first saw it being brought to my table, that the leaves had not been stirred in with the oyster sauce as I expected. As it was though, this gave me a chance to try the lettuce alone and I found it very good indeed. It was cooked until just barely wilted, so it maintained a slight crispness, but the normal lettuce taste was actually enhanced. With the oyster sauce it was even better, I have to say, but the first sampling was a revelation. I am going to have to experiment with this at home.

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