Lettuce bun with pork
he best thing about eating these Cantonese ‘lettuce buns' by hand is the contrast in the mouth between the hot meat and the crisp, cold lettuce wrap. This recipe allows for two lettuce buns per person as a main course, so reduce the quantities if serving one per person as a starter.
- 6 dried Chinese mushrooms
- 400 g pork fillet or chicken breast, or minced pork
- 2 slices ginger
- 100 g bamboo shoots
- 6 water chestnuts
- 1 garlic clove
- 8 crisp lettuce leaves, washed and dried
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- half tsp salt
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp hoi sin sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp cold water
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced
- Pour boiling water over the dried mushrooms to cover, and soak for at least 30 minutes. Bash the pork or chicken with a rolling pin to flatten it considerably, then finely chop, almost mincing it with the knife.
- Cut the ginger and bamboo shoots into thin matchsticks and finely chop the water chestnuts and garlic. Chill the lettuce leaves.
- Drain the mushrooms, retaining the water, and squeeze dry. Discard the stems and finely slice the caps. Heat the oil in a wok or fry pan, and stir fry the mushrooms, garlic and ginger for 1 minute.
- Add the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, and stir fry for 30 seconds, then add the pork or chicken, sugar and salt and stir-fry over high heat for 3 minutes until the meat is browned.
- Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoi sin and rice wine and 2 tablespoonfuls of the mushroom water, and stir fry for another minute or two. Stir in the cornflour mixture, and raise the heat until the sauce thickens. Spoon into the lettuce cups, scatter with spring onion and serve. To eat, fold the lettuce over into a ‘bun' and eat in your hands.