stir-fried lettuce bowl with ginger fried rice and egg

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Reprinted with permission from Family: New Vegetarian Comfort Food to Nourish Every Day, by Hetty McKinnon (Prestel 2019).



1 iceberg lettuce head (1 3/4 pound / 750 grams)

1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

2 teaspoons hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon sugar

extra-virgin olive oil or sunflower oil

3/4-inch (2 cm) piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped (I generally just give my ginger a scrub and then grate rather than chop)

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

46 large eggs

4 scallions, finely chopped

2 tablespoons sesame seeds (white,  black, or both), toasted

sea salt and white pepper

ginger fried rice:

extra-virgin olive oil or sunflower oil

2-inch (5 cm) piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped (or finely grated)

5 cups (925 grams) cooked cold brown rice (or white rice, if you prefer)

sea salt and white pepper


iceberg lettuce:  romaine, cabbage

hoisin sauce:  vegetarian oyster sauce, kecap manis, soy sauce

omit eggs for vegan


To remove the core of the lettuce, take a sharp paring knife, run it around the core, and then gently pull it out.  Remove the outer layer of the lettuce and discard.  Now tear the lettuce into large chunks.  Wash the leaves and allow them to dry in a colander.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari or soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and a pinch of sea salt and white pepper.  Set sauce aside.

Heat a large frying pan or wok over medium-low heat, add a drizzle of oil, along with the ginger and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.  Increase the heat to medium, add the lettuce, and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, until the lettuce is wilted.  Pour the sauce over the lettuce and stir-fry for a further 60 seconds.  Take care not to overcook, as you want the lettuce to retain some crunch.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Once the pan is cool enough to handle, rinse it out and dry.

For the ginger fried rice, reheat the pan on high heat and add a good drizzle of oil.  Toss in the ginger an dcook for 30 seconds, then add the cold rice and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, until the rice is heated through.  Season with sea salt and a small pinch of white pepper., then remove from the pan and set aside.

Wipe the pan clean once again and place over a medium-high heat.  Add another drizzle of oil and add 1 egg to the pan (cook 1 egg at a time).  Season the egg with a touch of salt and immediately cover with a lid.  Cook until the white is just set and the yolk is to your liking.  Repeat with all the eggs.

To serve, scoop the ginger fried rice into individual serving bowls and top each with the stir-fried lettuce and a fried egg.  Scatter with the scallions and sesame seeds and season with a little sea salt and white pepper.