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Stir-Fried Garlic Lettuce

Shao Hsing wine is very inexpensive and easily found at any Chinese grocery. The name might differ slightly. The label on our bottle read, "Shaoxing Cooking Wine." Dry the lettuce well; otherwise it will steam, not stir-fry.

1 medium head iceberg lettuce
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dark Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon Shao Hsing rice cooking wine
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt

Core lettuce and separate into leaves. Wash in several changes of cold water, breaking leaves in half. Drain thoroughly in colander until dry to the touch.

In small bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, wine, sugar and pepper.

Heat 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet or large, shallow Dutch oven over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add vegetable oil and garlic and stir-fry 10 seconds.

Add lettuce and stir-fry 1 minute. Add salt and stir-fry 1 minute more, until lettuce is just limp.

Swirl in sauce. Cook 1 more minute, or until lettuce is just tender and still bright green. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6 as part of multicourse meal.

Adapted from "The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen" by Grace Young

Sunday, January 21, 2001

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