The word for lettuce in Cantonese, “saang choi”, is a homonym for “giving birth to wealth”, and shiitake mushrooms symbolize prosperity. When stir-frying a leafy vegetable, it is important to remove water with a salad spinner until the leaves are dry to the touch. Any excess moisture will cool the wok and turn the stir-fry into a braise.
Serves 4 as a vegetable side dish.
- 1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 medium head of romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into 1 inch wide pieces (about 1 pound)
- 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
- In a small bowl combine the rice wine, broth, and soy sauce. In a separate small bowl combine the salt, sugar, and pepper.
- Heat a 14-inch flat-bottom wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, add the ginger and stir-fry 10 seconds or until the ginger is fragrant.
- Add the lettuce and mushrooms, sprinkle on the salt mixture and stir-fry 1 minute or until the lettuce begins to wilt.
- Swirl the rice wine mixture into the wok and stir-fry 1 minute or until the lettuce is crisp-tender and the mushrooms are just cooked.