It is rare in Chinese cuisine to serve raw vegetables; the salads we're used to seeing in the Western world are not what you'd have for lunch nor what you'd serve on the side. Cucumbers and spring onions are used raw, and some crunchy lettuce is used for wrapping stir-fried prawns or mince, but as a general rule, Chinese people enjoy cooked and warm vegetables over raw. Most people wouldn't think of iceberg lettuce as a vegetable for stir-frying , but its crunchy texture when raw, yields a wonderfully cooked vegetable. Because they're porous enough, the leaves will take on any flavoring or sauce you might use. Considered a "lucky" food, this iceberg preparation is commonly served during Lunar New Year. There are a few versions of stir-fried lettuce, some using oyster sauce and some soy, but no matter the additions, fried lettuce is a great side dish for rice, fish, beef, or pork.
Asian Lettuce Wraps
Stir-Fried Garlic Lettuce Recipe | Epicurious
One of my favourite Chinese starters — Lettuce Wraps with pork or chicken, loads of hidden crunchy vegetables in a tasty savoury brown sauce, bundled up in fresh lettuce. For a great Lettuce Wrap, it all comes down to the sauce. It takes more than just a splash of soy sauce to make a truly delish Lettuce Wrap. Get the sauce right and you can pretty much put anything into the filling. And it is one of those rare recipes that is genuinely great made entirely vegetarian.
Chinese Lettuce Wraps (San Choy Bow )
Delicious and bursting with flavor, Asian lettuce wraps are a great idea for entertaining or a family style meal. Each person can build their own fresh, delicious wrap. Just be sure to have plates or napkins available since the mixture can sometimes drip a little.
One of the most beautiful and inspired cookbooks of the year was The Breath of a Wok. Grace Young's stories and recipes make us want to set off in pursuit of wok hay, the special taste of wok-cooked food. But if the wok itself is too much to tackle, Young gives us permission to stir-fry in a skillet, as her parents did when they emigrated from China to San Francisco Young tells us that the Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like the words for "growing fortune," which makes this an auspicious dish to serve for the lunar New Year. Heat a inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact.