Updated: Jan 15
Traditionally, Chinese families celebrate the new year with dishes that signify good fortune. Lettuce is one of the most popular ingredients used in new year dishes because lettuce sounds like "making money". Growing up, lettuce wrap was one of my favorite Chinese new year dishes because we, kids, could use our fingers to eat.
This dish is easy to make but there's a bit of cutting. My recommendation is to cook more and save the filing for fried rice the next day.
500 g of minced meat or finely diced (beef, pork, chicken or a combination)
1 medium size carrot
2 celery stalks
1 big onion
3 cloves garlic
1 chili (optional)
1/2 cup of diced Chinese mushroom (more intense flavour than regular mushroom)
1 spring onion, diced
1 head of iceberg lettuce yield 5 lettuce bowls (If you want more, buy 2 heads of lettuce)
1-2 tbsp Oyster sauce
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of sugar
1 tbsp of soya sauce
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp of cornstarch
1 tbsp of cooking wine
1 tsp white pepper
1 chili, diced (optional)
Soak dried mushroom in water for 2 hours, then dice into small pieces
Marinate meat in seasonings for at least 20 minutes
Insert a sharp knife into the base of the lettuce and remove the stem. Carefully take out the first 5 to 6 leaves. Use a pair of scissors to trim the lettuce leaves into small lettuce bowls. Very gently rinse lettuce bowls in cold water and let it drip dry.
Dice onion, carrot, celery, garlic
In a pan, put oil and cook onion until slightly softened, then add carrot and mushroom. These ingredients takes the longest to cook. Cover the pan and let it cook for 5 minutes, stirring the onion and carrot occasionally.
Add minced meat to the onion and stir until minced meat is all broken up.
Add celery and garlic
Add oyster sauce (optional - pepper and chili for spiciness)
Add spring onion
Take a piece of lettuce bowl and scope the filling into the bowl. Wrap the lettuce and eat with your fingers.