Recipe: Stir Fried Romaine Lettuce with Garlic (蒜炒生菜)

This is another easy vegetable recipe. In the most simple Chinese meal, there is a protein dish, a vegetable dish, and rice, sometimes a soup. Easiest is all stir fries. Cantonese people include a steamed dish too, and sometimes other regions too.

This is my own recipe! Yay!

There are many ways to stir-fry vegetables. There is the basic one with only salt and pepper (sugar optional), like my asparagus tofu recipe. Then the one that adds soy sauce. Then the one that adds oyster sauce, this one is more common in Cantonese cooking. Then the one that fries garlic. Then the one that fried ginger. Then ginger-garlic. And sometimes green onions too. Also the one with dry red chilies and Sichuan peppercorns, common in Sichuan. And the one with fresh chilies, more common in Guangdong. And the one with fermented tofu, either red or white, also in Guangdong. And endless combinations of all of these, really. So there could be many ways to make romaine lettuce or any other green vegetables like bok choy, napa cabbage, choy sum, Chinese broccoli, pea shoots, celtuce leaved, etc. This one uses garlic and optionally soy sauce or oyster sauce. I love romaine the most since it reminds me of celtuce leaves, which cost too much and are found an hour away from my house.


1 romaine lettuce head, cut large bite size, and dry well. I usually use romaine hearts for salad that are already cleaned so no washing. The less water the best.

1 tbsp thinly sliced garlic or to your liking

1 to 2 tbsp oil

salt, sugar, pepper to taste (sugar optional)

1 tbsp oyster sauce (optional, if using skip salt and sugar) or 1/2 tbsp soy sauce to taste (skip salt)


1. Heat wok, add oil.

2. Add garlic, cook until fragrant (few sec).

3. Add lettuce, stir-fry about 2 minutes or until partially cooked. Add the sugar, salt, pepper sometime towards the end.

4. Add the sauce if using. Stir fry another minute or until almost cooked. I like to see if the stalks are mostly translucent. Then dish out, it will cook a little more.

Make sure it stays crunchy and delicious! 🙂


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