Cantonese blanched lettuce recipe

Published May 28, 2010 11:29PM (EDT)


  • Lettuce (iceberg or romaine), tough core removed, leaves cut into wide strips
  • Soy sauce, to taste
  • Oyster sauce, to taste
  • Sesame oil, to taste
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Salt it enough to taste almost like sea water. Pour in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil; the oil will coat the lettuce, giving it a silky mouth-feel.
  2. Depending on how much boiling water you have, drop in the lettuce maybe half a head or a head's worth at a time -- the point is to not cool the water down too much; you want the lettuce to cook very quickly, and it'll do so in water that's hotter. Swish it around in the water with tongs or long chopsticks, and after about 20 seconds, taste a piece. Keep doing so every few seconds until it's silky smooth with a hint of crunch. (Romaine will likely take longer than iceberg.)
  3. Remove lettuce with a strainer, and shake to get as much water off as possible. Serve on a platter topped with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil to taste, or have these laid out in dishes for dipping.

By Francis Lam

Francis Lam is Features Editor at Gilt Taste, provides color commentary for the Cooking Channel show Food(ography), and tweets at @francis_lam.

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