Chinese 'A' Lettuce - Packs a Punch of Nutrients

Chinese 'A' Lettuce


Chinese 'A' Lettuce - Packs a Punch of Nutrients

Vicky Chan, June 8, 2014


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Lettuce is one of the most common leaf vegetables for salads. There are many different types of lettuce and they are characterized by large, tender leaves, and are usually light green in color.

Lettuce is low in calories and is approximately 90% water. It has little fiber but has some minerals including potassium, calcium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium; anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and E, vitamin K, foliate as well as many vitamins of the B complex. The milky latex, found mainly in the stems contains a mixture of active principles which have been used for centuries for its medicinal virtues. It has extraordinary “sedative” and “painkilling” properties. Unfortunately lettuce stems are usually unused in western cuisine.

Therefore the healthy properties of lettuce are: anti-anemic with high amounts of chlorophyll and iron for the synthesis of hemoglobin in red blood cells; anti-oxidant and prevents premature aging with beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E; promotes bone health with vitamin K and calcium; relieves constipation by stimulating the function and motility of the intestinal tract; relieves cough and asthma with anti-cough agents; hydration with high water content; sedation and treats sleep disorder with high B vitamins content.

Taiwan has been exporting a special kind of lettuce known as ‘A’ lettuce for years and it has been very popular among Asian cuisines. The ‘A’ is in short form for asparagus. The plant is much taller than other types of lettuce. It has very a long stem and long sword like leaves that are light green in color. The leaves grow on top of the stem and are cut off at the base and sold separately from the stem. They can be easily found in most Chinese grocery stores now. The leaves and the stems are used lightly cooked but the stems can also be eaten raw with salads. The stems are known to offer a lot more nutrients than the leaves.

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The following is a recipe to inspire you to eat more of the ‘A’ lettuce stems. You can add more ingredients to the stir-fry such as meat or seafood to make the dish more interesting. The stems are very crispy even after cooked and are mild in taste and very refreshing for summer dishes.

 

Stir Fried Chinese Asparagus Lettuce Stems

with King Mushrooms


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THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

  • Improves immune system, promotes yang, and improves overall health.

INGREDIENTS (2-3 servings)

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      • ‘A’ lettuce stems – one or two
      • King mushrooms – a few
      • Carrot - half (optional for color and additional health benefits)
      • Minced ginger – one spoonful
      • Minced garlic – one spoonful
      • Oyster sauce – one spoonful (optional)
      • Potato starch – one tea spoonful (optional)
      • Sesame oil – one spoonful (optional)

DIRECTIONS

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  1. Cut out skin of stems lengthwise, rinse and slice into thin slices.
  2. Rinse mushrooms and cut into slices.
  3. Cut carrot into thin slices.
  4. Put carrot in a stir-fry pan with a little water to pre-cook for about 4 minutes or to desire softness, remove and keep aside.
  5. Heat pan with a little oil and add half of the minced ginger and garlic. Stir and add the mushroom slices to cook for a few minutes on both sides. Sprinkle in a little salt and black pepper to taste and put aside.
  6. Heat pan again with a little oil and put in the remaining ginger and garlic. Add stem slices and carrot and stir for a couple of minutes. Add a few spoonful of water to cook stem slightly to water is mostly evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in mushroom and oyster sauce. Mix starch with two spoonful of water and sesame oil and stir-in for a minute to combine the flavors and then put everything to plate.

USAGE

No restrictions.

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