Recreate Hannah’s Chinese lettuce with ginger soy sauce, then check out her Chinese dry-pot cauliflower, Chinese braised winter squash and more Chinese recipes.

This recipe comes from The Vegan Chinese Kitchen by Hannah Che (£25, Random House Inc).

Chef Hannah Che writes about when she first encountered cooked lettuce on restaurant menus: “I was sceptical, but I quickly changed my mind after eating dishes like this one. Chinese cooks treat lettuces just like any other leafy green, and varieties such as sturdy-hearted romaine and the long papery fronds of stem lettuce are often stir-fried, blanched, steamed or wilted in soups, with delicious results. Here a quick blanch intensifies romaine lettuce’s sweetness and flavour, and the delicate soy sauce dressing bathes the crisp, juicy stems and dimpled leaves with sesame oil and clinging bits of ginger.”


  • 1 romaine lettuce or other ribbed lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tbsp shaoxing rice wine
  • 1tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame oil


  • STEP 1

    Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Prepare a bowl of ice and water. Blanch the lettuce in the boiling water for 30 seconds until its leaves are vibrant green but still crisp. Dunk it straight into the iced water to halt the cooking, then drain and shake as dry as possible (or give it a whirl in a salad spinner). Put the lettuce in a large bowl.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oil in a small pan over a medium heat. Cook the ginger for 1 min until fragrant and golden. Add the soy sauce, shaoxing and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring with a spatula for 15 seconds until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the sesame oil.

  • STEP 3

    Pour the sauce over the drained lettuce and gently fold to coat the leaves. Arrange the leaves in a pile on a plate and scrape over the sauce that collected at the bottom of the bowl. Serve immediately.

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