Stir-Fried Vegetables in Lettuce Cups

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a Main Course

Appears in

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
Cooking Time: 4-5 Minutes

A delicious vegetarian treat. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. Most of the work can be done in advance (up to the end of stage 3), leaving only the final part to be done just before serving. This dish is great fun to eat and also makes a good finger-food starter for a dinner party.


  • 15g oz) Chinese dried mushrooms
  • 100g (4 oz) carrots
  • 100g (4 oz) fresh or tinned bamboo shoots
  • 100g (4 oz) courgettes
  • 100g (4 oz) celery hearts
  • 100g (4 oz) red or green pepper (about 1)
  • 100g (4 oz) pressed seasoned beancurd
  • 225g (8 oz) iceberg lettuce
  • tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To Serve

  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce


  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for 20 Minutes.
  2. While the mushrooms are soaking, prepare the vegetables. Peel the carrots and cut into fine shreds 5cm (2 in) long. Shred the bamboo shoots, courgettes and celery hearts in the same way. Cut the peppers in half, remove the white pith and seeds, and shred too. Finely shred the pressed bean curd. Separate the lettuce into leaves and wash. Dry in a salad spinner and set aside, covered, in the refrigerator.
  3. When the mushrooms have soaked for 20 Minutes, drain them and discard the water. Squeeze out any excess liquid. Trim off the stems and discard. Shred the caps into strips 5cm (2 in) long.P
  4. Heat a wok over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the garlic, shallots and spring onions and stir-fry for 20 seconds.
  5. Add the carrots and stir-fry for 1 further minute.
  6. Now add the remaining vegetables (except the lettuce), the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, vegetarian oyster sauce, salt and pepper, and stir-fry the mixture for 3 Minutes.
  7. Turn onto a warm platter. Arrange the lettuce on a separate platter, put the hoi sin sauce into a small bowl, and serve at once. Each guest places a portion of stir-fried vegetables in a lettuce leaf, adds a little hoi sin sauce, wraps the leaf around and eats with their fingers.

P Can be prepared ahead: prepare the vegetables up to the end of stage 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.