Garlicky Stir-Fried Lettuce

Mei Mar FoodSeen
Image by Felicia Trujillo

In other cultures, cooked lettuce is common. Instead of tossing the wilting head of greens in your refrigerator, restaurant owner and cookbook author Mei Li encourages pan searing it with sesame oil, soy sauce, and seasonings. “I had a friend who spent a year in China after school and she was like, ‘I didn’t eat raw lettuce for a year,” Li says.

“I think many people have had the experience of buying lettuce and when it wilts in your fridge, being like, ‘well, I can’t eat this in a salad, so I should just throw it out.'” The best part is, this recipe works with any kind of lettuce, from iceberg and romaine to bibb and butterhead.

From Food Waste Feast

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Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or thinly sliced
  • 4 cups mixed lettuce of any kind, roughly
  • chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • Pinch of chili flakes or white pepper
  • (optional)

  1. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until the oil starts to shimmer. Add garlic and stir-fry until it starts to brown, about 10 seconds, then addlettuce. Stir-fry for about a minute, until lettuce wilts, then add sesame oil, soy sauce, and any additional flavorings. Stir again to mix thoroughly, then remove from heat and serve immediately

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