Stir-Fried Romaine Lettuce: Fast, Easy Recipe

stir-fried romaine lettuce in a white serving bowl with chopsticks on the left
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You must try stir-fried romaine lettuce! It’s a fast and easy recipe, nut-free, and free of top 9 allergens. It’s a perfect simple side dish to serve with foods that are rich, saucy, or highly seasoned.

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collage of cooking stir-fried romaine lettuce and cooked romaine lettuce plated
Top left: add the oil and the salt to the pot before adding the romaine leaves. Top right: the stir-fried romaine is about halfway cooked, that’s when I would add additional seasoning, if using. Bottom left: serving suggestion with soy-garlic marinated chicken drumsticks. Bottom right: stir-fried romaine lettuce is tender-crisp and ready to eat.

Asian-American Food Adaptations

My mom used to make stir-fried iceberg lettuce. It’s a creative way to adapt to living in the US by cooking American vegetables the Chinese way. I love stir-fried romaine lettuce even more than stir-fried iceberg lettuce because romaine lettuce is considered the most nutritious lettuce. If you do a quick internet search, romaine lettuce is considered a very nutrient dense lettuce.

A Surprising Reason to Cook Romaine Lettuce

I love romaine lettuce in salads and it’s good to have other recipes. Fresh tender romaine is delicious fresh. But sometimes as the weather heats up or toward the end of the growing season, romaine tastes a little bitter. You will know when the leaves are spaced out a bit on the stalk. That’s when you want to stir-fry or otherwise cook your lettuce.

I was surprised to learn that cooking lettuce can help breakdown anti-nutrients found naturally in lettuce. “In addition, green leafy vegetables containing anti-nutrients such as nitrates, oxalates, phytates, cyanogenic glycosides, and tannins influence micronutrient absorption. Some thermal processing can decrease the content of anti-nutrients in lettuce by boiling, cooking, and blanching.”

My parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles all cook their leafy green vegetables. It’s interesting for me to find a scientific reason to cook my veggies.

close up of stir-fried romaine lettuce in a white serving bowl, with chopsticks on the left
Stir fry until wilted and then watch closely so that the stems have a little bit of crunch, look slightly translucent, and leaves are cooked down slightly. You can also see that I’m left-handed, lol.

Allergy Aware Stir-Fried Romaine Lettuce

I wrote this recipe so that it’s free of top 9 allergens. The romaine lettuce is only seasoned with a little bit of salt. The salt actually serves a functional purpose to make the lettuce sweat and cook in its own liquids.

This simple preparation makes the stir-fried romaine lettuce perfect as a topping for something flavorful such as Wonton Mein. Add veggies to a salty or rich dish, such as Lu Rao Fan, Braised Pork and Egg Rice Bowl.

If you want a little bit more seasoning, I recommend a small drizzle of oyster sauce or sesame oil. Stir to coat evenly.

stir-fried romaine lettuce in a white serving bowl with chopsticks on the left
5 from 1 vote
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Stir-Fried Romaine Lettuce: Fast, Easy Recipe

You must try stir-fried romaine lettuce! It's a fast and easy recipe, nut-free, and free of top 9 allergens. It's a perfect simple side dish to serve with foods that are rich or highly seasoned.

Course Side Dish, Vegetable Stir Fry
Cuisine Chinese-American
Keyword romaine lettuce stir-fry, stir-fried romaine lettuce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 4
Author Sharon (NutFreeWok.com)

Ingredients

  • 3 romaine hearts
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce or sesame oil optional

Instructions

  1. Wash and separate the romaine leaves, tear them in half so that the stems are about 3 inches long. Set aside to drain in a colander until ready to cook.

  2. Preheat a large skillet or pot on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the oil, swirl to coat, sprinkle the salt, and add the romaine leaves.
  3. Spread the stir-fried romaine leaves and allow them to sear and cook down slightly, stir fry until half of the romaine looks translucent (1-2 minutes).
  4. Drizzle approximately 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce or sesame oil, if using, and continue to stir-fry. The romaine is ready when most of the romaine looks translucent.

Related Recipes:

I have other vegetable stir-fried recipes on my blog. Here are some conventional and Asian vegetables cooked with Asian-inspired methods:

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About Sharon Wong 282 Articles
Welcome to Nut Free Wok, a blog about Allergy Aware Asian Fare. I hope that you will find my food allergy mom experiences helpful and enjoyable to read as I write about recipes, cooking techniques, Asian ingredients, and food allergy related awareness and advocacy issues. My professional experiences include education, teaching, and a little bit of science and computers. Thank you for visiting! ~Sharon Wong, M.Ed.

2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh I am NOT a salad person but I love vegetables. I just prefer them cooked. Learning that this acceptable with lettuce (and done regularly in other cultures) is amazing.

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