Chinese lettuce parcels

Water chestnuts are bulbs from China which are grown under water.
Soften the lettuce leaves by dipping in boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain on absorbent paper.


serves 6
6 large crisp lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
75 g (3 oz) mushrooms, finely chopped
50 g (2 oz) canned water chestnuts, drained and finely sliced
100 g (4 oz) long-grain rice, cooked
100 g (4 oz) frozen peas, cooked and drained
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 egg, beaten extra soy sauce, to serve


1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying-pan. Add the spring onions and ginger and fry gently for 2 - 3 minutes until soft.

2. Add the celery, mushrooms and water chestnuts and fry for a further
5 minutes.

3. Stir in the rice, peas and soy sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the egg.

4. Lay the lettuce leaves out flat on a work surface. Put about 2 generous tablespoons of the mixture at the base of each lettuce leaf. Fold the leaf around the mixture and roll up to form neat parcels. Secure with cocktail sticks, if necessary.

5. Place the parcels in a steamer. If you do not have a.steamer, use a metal colander which fits neatly
inside a saucepan (the base must not touch the water). Fill the pan with boiling water, place the parcels in the colander and place the colander in the pan. Cover with foil or lid of steamer and steam for 5 minutes.

6. Remove the cocktail sticks from the parcels, if using, then place the parcels on a warmed serving dish. Serve at once, with extra soy sauce handed separately.

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