Stir fry Iceberg lettuce

iceberg lettuce
Iceberg lettuce is one of the easiest lettuce available in the supermarket aisle. Closely resembling the savoury cabbage this water-laden vegetable is a loved addition yo most chopped salads. Here is one were the dressing brings out the flavour and the iceberg adds the volume to the salad
It is one of the lettuces used to add volume to the salad on a low-calorie basis. One which is actually low in nutritive value yet caters a lot of fibre into the dish. Apart from the salad form we rarely see the iceberg used, but that’s what I thought earlier.

Transform the lettuce

The Chinese vegan restaurants in Penang always had a little take on the iceberg lettuce. It was a wilted stirfry lettuce supplied generously to every table. The flavour balance was so amazing, one cannot stop eating it. With heady amount of garlic, a bit of sauce, there was something about the recipe that made it permanent in my tastebuds. I could get over the garlic, though I am not a big fan….with that recipe.
This lettuce stirfry was served with typical Malaysian chilli sambal…mmmmm..mmm I tell you, you can’t get enough of it!!!


Reveal the secret

Just before leaving the beautiful island of Penang, overwhelmed with memories we did go to the same restaurant. This time asked the family owner if he could share the recipe. When we said we are moving away to Australia he was really sad. Went in quickly and brought his wife. She rattled away in Hokkien and he kept nodding his head…
That was a long two minutes in my patience.
Then he spoke.. He said will miss us too and then said write down.
Scroll down to that magical recipe he shared and he said with a big serious tone…
Only Chinese wine…not English!!!
I quite did not catch it then..but realised
as I tried out the recipe. He meant, use Chinese wine and not Sherry. It is true the flavours are best with the Chinese cooking wine. It is a much sharper flavour as compared to the normal cooking wines.
So here we are with this memory infused recipe and it is the one the spring will see very often this time.
The blogger group of Recipe Challenge aims to create a collection of recipes with each alphabet.  Since it is time for Alphabet I on the A-Z group, I believe this special recipe close to my heart gets a worthy place among all the brilliant creations my fellow bloggers are coming up with. Do have a peek and see the collection as “I” is not an easy list of ingredients to find. We have worked out the best of ingredients from the limited list.
iceberg lettuce

Stir fry Iceberg lettuce

Penang style
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, sidedish
Cuisine Autumn, Chinese, diabetic friendly, Fusion, gluten free, International, One pot, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 2 people


  • 1/2 head lettuce iceberg
  • 1/4 tsp Sesame oil
  • 5-6 cloves garlic crushed or sliced
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cooking wine Chinese cooking wine
  • 1/4 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dry red chilli ( I have used flakes)


  • Clean the head of lettuce and roughly tear them into pieces.
  • Heat a wok and add the sesame oil .
  • As it gets heated add the garlic and saute till slightly golden. Reduce the heat of the wok.
  • Add the soy, cooking wine, sugar and red chilli flakes to create the sauce.
  • Increase the heat and add the shredded lettuce. and give a quick toss.
  • Toss around for about a minute and remove from heat.
  • Serve hot with wok tossed noodles or fried rice, with a side of sambal.
    iceberg lettuce


If you don't want it spicy, use a small amount of white pepper powder instead of the red chilli flakes.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Shobha Keshwani
4 years ago

Nice warm salad . I love these kind of dishes.

Shobha Keshwani
4 years ago

Love this warm salad. Love the stir-fried recipes

The Girl Next Door
4 years ago

A very interesting recipe! I always use iceberg lettuce in burgers or sandwiches. Never thought of using it in a stir fry. It surely looks delicious!

4 years ago

I remember eating this in a restaurant and as you said the taste is something that you really cannot stop. It has a wonderful crunch along with the sauces. Thank You for the recipe, I am definetly trying this now.

Poonam Bachhav
4 years ago

We love iceberg lettuce in sizzlers and at home use it as salad. Totally loved this flavorful stir fry and with spicy sambal and fried rice it would make a soulful meal.

4 years ago

loved reading the anecdote here, Seema ! its so funny na, Icberg Lettuce is so common outside India, but here its usually the price of Gold 🙂 this simply stir fry is so invitng !

Sandhya Ramakrishnan
4 years ago

It is so awesome that you were able to get the recipe from the chef! I love the flavors and warm salad is definitely a food break from the regular ones.

Vanitha Bhat
4 years ago

Such a simple yet delicious recipe! This would be great side dish with any Indo-Chinese meal! Awesome share!

Superduper Kitchen
4 years ago

The salad looks simple and so inviting.

Mayuri Patel
4 years ago

I’ve only had lettuce in salads so I find this recipe very interesting. I guess you would have to eat the stir fry lettuce as soon as its made otherwise it would become too soft. I can feel my tongue tickling with the mention of the garlicky sauce.

4 years ago

I thought iceberg lettuce was eaten raw. Now since I can’t get the Chinese cooking wine what may the substitutes be???
Thanks to you the last bit of lettuce that I need to toss away will get converted to iceberg lettuce stir fry.

Vidya Narayan
4 years ago

A quick stir fry for busy days, with loads of flavors! Chilli Sambal sounds amazing too and I guess with rice, it would be a complete dish.

Anshu Agrawal
4 years ago

Such a easy recipe yet so flavorful…perfect for busy days..awesome share for the theme 👌

4 years ago

Wow !! Never used ice berg lettuce in a stir fry. The dish looks really so temping one. I would love to make these warm salad in the next time when I get the lettuce.

4 years ago

This is such a great way to use iceberg lettuce. The asian flavours also add to the appeal and make for a wonderful side-dish.

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