Cantonese Lettuce with Oyster Sauce (蚝油生菜)

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Make this super quick and easy Cantonese lettuce with oyster sauce for a delicious and healthy side in 10 minutes. This recipe helps you serve up a large amount of lettuce with a delicious aromatic sauce. {Gluten-Free Adaptable, Vegan}

Hao you sheng cai

Summer is the peak of various vegetables and we’ve been getting so much lettuce from our garden and CSA boxes. Today I want to show you one of my favorite recipes to enjoy a lot of lettuce in one sitting!

What is Lettuce with oyster sauce

Lettuce with oyster sauce, or Hao You Sheng Cai (蚝油生菜), is a famous Cantonese dish that you may often see in dim sum restaurants. Growing up in China, we would order this dish quite often to pair with our favorite shrimp dumplings and pork shumai

In the US, lettuce is almost always served raw. But did you know you can also blanch lettuce to get a delicious result?

This recipe quickly blanches the lettuce so it’s slightly wilted but remains crisp. Then it is served with a savory sweet sauce made with oyster sauce and garlic. The aromatic sauce pairs so well with the tender lettuce leaves that you will find it really easy to finish a big plate in one sitting.

Cantonese lettuce with oyster sauce and garlic

Ingredients

You only need five ingredients to make this lettuce with oyster sauce.

What type of lettuce to use

In China it is quite common to use iceberg lettuce for this dish. I also like to romaine lettuce because it has a more vibrant color and the taste is great. You can cook it with either.

Oyster sauce

Oyster sauce is a key ingredient in the sauce because it lends a savory rich taste with a hint of sweetness.

In this recipe, I used vegetarian oyster sauce instead of regular oyster sauce to make the dish plant-based. But please feel free to use either, and it will result in a great dish. If you would like a gluten-free dish, you can also use gluten-free oyster sauce.

Mise en place

Once you’re done prepping for the dish, your table should have:

  • Cut and rinsed lettuce leaves
  • Mixed sauce
  • Minced garlic
Ingredients for making lettuce with oyster sauce
Hao you sheng cai

How to make lettuce with oyster sauce

Making lettuce with oyster sauce is super easy and can be done in 10 minutes.

  1. Lightly blanch the lettuce in boiling water
  2. Chill the lettuce in an ice bath, then pat it dry
  3. Fry the garlic in oil to release the fragrance
  4. Pour in the sauce and cook for 1 minute
  5. Pour the sauce over the plated lettuce

That’s it! You will get a beautiful and super flavorful side dish to go with your dinner.

How to cook lettuce with oyster sauce step-by-step

Cooking notes for lettuce with oyster sauce

  1. It’s very important to not overcook the lettuce, because doing so will turn it a bit bitter. It usually only takes 20 to 30 seconds to submerge the lettuce in the boiling water and blanch it.
  2. Adding a bit of oil and salt to the boiling water will help the lettuce remain vibrant in color once cooked.
  3. When you cook the sauce, it’s important to use low heat and let the sauce simmer for a minute. If you do not cook the sauce thoroughly, the oyster sauce may have an unpleasant raw taste.
Cantonese-style lettuce with oyster sauce

Pair lettuce with oyster sauce with these easy mains

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Make this super quick and easy Cantonese lettuce with oyster sauce for a delicious and healthy side dish in 10 minutes. This recipe helps you serve up a large amount of lettuce with a delicious aromatic sauce. {Gluten-Free Adaptable, Vegan}

Cantonese Lettuce with Oyster Sauce (蚝油生菜)

Make this super quick and easy Cantonese lettuce with oyster sauce for a delicious and healthy side in 10 minutes. This recipe helps you serve up a large amount of lettuce with a delicious aromatic sauce. {Gluten-Free Adaptable, Vegan}
To make this dish gluten-free, use a gluten-free oyster sauce such as Lee Kum Kee green label.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Side
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: restaurant-style
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 heads (340 g / 12 oz) romaine lettuce (*Footnote 1)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce (or regular oyster sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 5 cloves garlic , minced

Instructions

  • Cut the tough ends off the lettuce and halve the lettuce lengthwise. Rinse with cold tap water then drain thoroughly. Prepare a large bowl of water with ice for a water bath.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add a few drops of vegetable oil and a pinch of salt (*Footnote 2). Add the lettuce leaves and turn off the heat. Stir for about 10 seconds, until the lettuce just starts to soften. Immediately drain and transfer the lettuce to the water bath to stop cooking. Then drain thoroughly again, remove excess water with paper towels, then transfer to a large plate.
  • Mix the oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of water and mix well.
  • Add oil to a small frying pan and heat over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic. Stir and cook for a few seconds to release the fragrance. Pour in the mixed sauce and turn to medium low heat. Simmer and stir for 1 minute, until the sauce is thick and bubbly. If the sauce becomes too dry, add a splash of water and mix well. (*Footnote 3)
  • Once the sauce is cooked, pour over the plated lettuce. Serve immediately as a side dish.

Notes

  1. You can use 1 head of iceberg lettuce to cook this dish as well.
  2. Adding the oil and salt will keep the lettuce leaves color more vibrant after cooking.
  3. It’s important to cook the sauce thoroughly to cook off the raw taste from the oyster sauce.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 53kcal, Carbohydrates: 5.2g, Protein: 0.8g, Fat: 3.6g, Saturated Fat: 0.6g, Sodium: 209mg, Potassium: 142mg, Fiber: 0.7g, Sugar: 1.9g, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 2mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don’t forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

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