Chinese-style Lettuce with Garlic Sauce

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This Chinese-style Lettuce with Garlic Oyster Sauce is a tasty and easy vegetable side dish you can put together in 15 minutes. A little chili bean paste will add a mild heat to the dish, but you can leave it out for a non-spicy version.

a plate of Chinese lettuce with garlic sauce

If you haven’t tried cooked lettuce, I think you will find this dish quite interesting. It features blanched lettuce dressed in a savory and umami garlic oyster sauce.

I recommend using romaine. Once cooked, it will have a crisp texture with a mild sweetness. Its natural bitterness will no longer be noticeable.

The easy garlic sauce is composed of typical aromatics and Chinese seasonings:

plates and bowls with ingredients for the recipe

You can leave out the chili bean paste if you want to keep the dish non-spicy or if you don’t have it on hand. It is also okay if you don’t have toasted sesame oil.

For a vegetarian version, you can try using vegetarian oyster sauce/stir-fry sauce.

Essential Tips

This blanched romaine with garlic sauce is very quick and easy to make. It is a great dish for those who are beginners in Asian cooking, besides this lotus root soup, lemongrass chicken stir-fry, and tomato omelet.

To cook the romaine, blanch it in plenty of water. Make sure to use a large pot and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Cook in batches if needed. Then immediately transfer the lettuce to a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process so that it will stay crisp and green.

blanching lettuce in a large pot
Placing romaine in a bowl of iced water

When making the garlic sauce, you should use medium heat to sauté the aromatics to bring out their fragrance without burning them. Then add the seasonings and cook until the sauce starts to simmer.

Sautéing aromatics in a pan
adding seasonings to the pan

Now, all you need to do is transferring the blanched lettuce to a serving plate and drizzling the sauce over it. Enjoy!

Please find the full instructions in the recipe card below. I look forward to hearing what you think about this lettuce with chili garlic sauce recipe.

a plate of Chinese-style lettuce with oyster sauce

⭐️ I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on FacebookYoutubePinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.

a plate of romaine lettuce with garlic sauce

Chinese-style Lettuce with Garlic Sauce

This Chinese-style Lettuce with Garlic Sauce is a tasty and easy vegetable side dish you can put together in 15 minutes. The recipe is adaptable to make it non-spicy or vegetarian if desired.
Author: Sophie
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Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 people


  • 10.5-12 oz romaine lettuce
  • cooking oil
  • 3/4 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced white parts of scallions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon doubanjiang (chili bean paste)
  • 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
  • 1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar (more to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (optional)


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Then add romaine and blanch briefly, about 20 seconds. Immediately transfer the lettuce to a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process. Then place romaine in a colander to drain excess water.
  • Place a pan over medium heat and add some cooking oil to coat the bottom, about 1 tablespoon. Add the minced ginger and sauté for a minute until fragrant. Then add the white parts of scallions and garlic and sauté for another minute.
  • Add doubanjiang to the pan, then stir and cook until fragrant and the oil looks red. Add oyster sauce and soy sauce and give everything a stir.
  • Add water and sugar. Stir and bring everything to a simmer. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Stir in sesame oil and turn off the heat.
  • Arrange blanched lettuce on a serving plate. Drizzle the garlic sauce over the vegetables and serve right away.


You may need to blanch the romaine in batches if needed.
If you want to keep the dish non-spicy, omit the chili bean paste. Adjust the amount of other seasonings to taste.
For a vegetarian version, you can try using vegetarian oyster sauce/stir-fry sauce.


Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 925mg | Potassium: 443mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 13011IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: romaine with garlic sauce
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a plate of Chinese romaine with garlic sauce

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