Yuk Sung – Chinese Lettuce Wraps – Inside each lettuce leaf is a little pile of treasures! A great dish to serve as a starter or at parties
If any of you have been to a Chinese restaurant, you have most likely seen this Yuk Sung dish. It’s delicious!
As you can see, inside a leaf of an iceberg lettuce is a little pile of treasures, all beautifully flavoured and with varying contrasts of textures. That, married with the crisp leaf of the iceberg lettuce is a real delight to eat. You just fold the leaf over and take a bite and enjoy!
The sauce combination I use is not salty, but if you wish for a saltier flavour you can add an extra dash of soy sauce when you have served the dish. It’s always a personal preference as to how much soy sauce you add to a recipe, but I don’t like salty food, so I always add less and then people can help themselves later if they wish.
1. Get all your ingredients prepared and ready before you start cooking anything.
2. Be creative! if you don’t have or can’t find some of the ingredients, choose for something similar which will give you flavour, colour and texture.
250 g / 1/2 lb ground pork, chicken or turkey or soya
1 spring onion / scallions chopped
1 medium carrot peeled and finely chopped into matchstick width cubes.
6 water chestnuts finely chopped. ***Please try your best to get these as they really are wonderful in this dish!
1 inch peeled & finely chopped fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped handful of beansprouts
3 Chinese dried mushrooms soaked in hot water OR the same in ordinary mushrooms.
OPTIONAL – handful of vermicelli Chinese Rice noodles for garnish.
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 Tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1. First off is to prepare all the ingredients, so start with the ground meat. If it is coarse cut, chop it a little more so it is fine, then transfer to a bowl and add all the sauce ingredients and combine well. Leave to marinade whilst you prepare the rest.
2. Finely chop (matchstick width cubes) carrot, garlic, ginger, mushrooms and water chestnuts.
3. Spring onion / scallion, chop into small pieces or shred. beansprouts, wash and leave as they are.
4. Iceberg lettuce – cut the stalk off and then to remove the leaves without damaging, run upside down under a cold tap and gently tease the leaves apart. They will come away easier.
5. This next part is optional, and is used as a garnish and also a texture addition. You take a handful of vermicelli rice noodles and deep or shallow fry in a pan with oil and they will puff up! Then drain on some kitchen paper and lay on the serving plate. It does have some oil in it, so leave this out if you are watching the calories!
6. Now to cook the ingredients. This next stage is very fast so do it just when you are ready to serve.
Heat your pan up so it is hot then place the meat in and cook, keeping it moving all the time so it doesn’t burn.
7. Add everything else except the spring onions/scallions and bean sprout. Keep stirring until the meat is cooked through. If you used the soaked chinese mushrooms, add 1 tablespoon of that water, or use ordinary water. Stir everything, then add the bean sprouts and Scallions / spring onions. Combine and then switch off the heat. Place the Yuk Sung onto the vermicelli and you’re good to go!
To eat this, add some of the yuk sung to a lettuce leaf (not too much) and then fold the bottom over and then each side, and enjoy!
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