This fragrant stir-fry, a version of one in The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen (Simon & Schuster, 1999) by Grace Young, is a popular Chinese New Year dish.

Yield: serves 4


  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. rice wine or dry sherry
  • 34 tsp. sugar
  • 12 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 12 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 4 scallions, cut on the diagonal into 1″ pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 12 medium head iceberg lettuce, cored, outermost leaves discarded, inner leaves torn into 4″-wide pieces
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine or sherry, sugar, and pepper; set sauce aside.
  2. Heat a 12″ skillet over high heat. Add peanut oil, half of the scallions, and garlic and cook until garlic is golden, about 5 seconds. Add lettuce; cook, stirring occasionally, until lettuce softens slightly, about 1 minute. Drizzle in sauce and cook until lettuce is just coated with the sauce, about 1 minute. Season with salt, divide between 4 bowls, and garnish with remaining scallions.