Monday, October 8, 2007

Lettuce Wraps (Bao Sang)


This is a Cantonese dish my Dad cooked whenever we had leftover duck or pigeon. He liked to throw in some fresh corn which sweetens up the dish. Yes, pigeons. Dad reared some and we loved them marinaded in dark soy sauce and deep-fried. My kids gag and roll their eyes when I tell them.

This is a simple dish of finely diced mixed veg, fried and served with lettuce (usually iceberg, which we tore into smaller pieces but now restaurants usually make the greens fancier by cutting them into neat cups). There's a lot of crunch in this dish--from the waterchestnuts, corn, celery and the deep-fried mung bean vermicelli. You probably have eaten a similar dish when you order Beijing Duck but this recipe uses very little meat and lots of veg. The only thing about this dish is you have to use your fingers so I think it is a better dish to serve at casual finger-food dinners/parties.

Lettuce Wraps
2 fresh corn on cobs, kernels cut off using a knife
1/2 chicken breast, diced finely
2 stalks celery, diced finely
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked n diced finely
10 waterchestnuts, peeled n diced finely
1 small carrot, diced finely
1 small handful mungbean vermicelli
1/2 T cornflour + 2 T water, mix well
1 cup veg oil
lettuce (iceberg, butterhead, Chinese shengcai), washed n spin-dried

1. Marinade the diced chicken with salt, white pepper and 1/2 t cornflour, 1 t sesame oil and 1 T water. Heat 1 cup oil in a wok till hot and throw in the vermicelli. It will expand into white threads. Quickly swirl it around the wok to make sure all threads have expanded. Remove quickly or it'll brown. Drain on paper towels. When cool, scrunch lightly to break threads into short bits of about 2 to 3 cm.

2. Leave about 4 T oil in the wok, heat wok up till smoking and add the chicken and mushroom, stirring well to separate. When chicken has turned all white, add the other veg (except lettuce!) in this order: corn, carrots, waterchestnuts and finally celery, each time adding a pinch of salt and frying about 30 seconds before each addition. After the celery is added, add 1 T light soy sauce and stir-fry another minute. Adjust the taste. Then add the cornflour solution, stirring to mix well all the veg (add 1 or 2 T water sauce/veg gets too 'pasty') and dish up.

3. Arrange the fried vermicelli around the plate of fried veg and serve the lettuce separately. Just before eating, mix the veg and fried vermicelli together. Serve immediately or the vermicelli will soften when it absorbs the sauce.


Denise said...

ee yerrr.............
Normally I dip with (Dark soya + Fried OnionScallot + oil) b4 into my mouth ! and that's what I had for last Mid-autumn dinner. =p

Hong Yi said...

Hmmm...Mama, not many comments ey. I think people prefer meatier dishes.

Is this another one of ur hints for me to trim down a bit?

Denise said...

Hongyi: ya worr.. try post up a chicken ! I can 200% guarantee the comments will up to 20 =p

human = meat eater.....

: D

Terri @ hungerhunger said...

yi:yes!this recipe is for u!
denise: ok chicky carnivore

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