In My Kitchen – Baby Cos Lettuce

Baby cos lettuce is a smaller variety of Cos Lettuce, also known as Romaine Lettuce in America. Eaten either raw or cooked for almost 5,000 years! It was said that it originated on the Greek island of Kos (“Cos”), off the coast of Turkey. It is one of my favourite lettuce. It has high water content and low in calories, and crunchy in texture.

I like it raw in Caesar Salad, or cooked with Chinese Shiitake Mushrooms. During Chinese New Year, mum would use the leaf to make the Penang traditional style “Poh Piah” or Hokkien fresh spring roll. A small cos leaf is placed on top of a popiah skin (make from tapioca flour and water). Then spread with Hoi Sin and chili sauce and filled with cooked shredded vegetables (made from a mixture of “bankuang” or jicama and carrots), cooked baby prawns, fresh bean sprouts and crunchy fried shallots. The spring roll skin is then folded and rolled up. It is a simple and delicious snack/appetizer but requires a lot of effort and preparation time.

Tonight I made myself a very simple and effective cooked vegetarian dish using baby cos lettuce and dried shiitake mushrooms. It is VERY simple to cook. Less than 5 minutes! The ingredients are simple and basic.


~ 1 baby cos lettuce
~ 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
~ 8 cherry tomatoes
~ 2 dried red chillies
~ 4 – 6 cloves garlic
~ 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
~ 1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
~ 1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine
~ 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

~ presoak dried mushrooms in the morning. In the evening after getting home from work, drain the water and remove the mushrooms. Then slice into 1cm apart and set aside
~ wash the cos lettuce. Use both hands tear the leaves into bite pieces and set aside
~ peel the garlic clove, then chop all of them finely and set aside
~ tear the dried chilies into small pieces and set aside

~ heat some vegetable oil in a hot wok
~ toss in chopped garlic and crushed dried chillies. Fry quickly until fragrant for less than 1 minute
~ add mushrooms. A quick toss for 1 minute
~ add cos leaves. Quickly toss and mix through for less than 1 minute
~ add the tomatoes and sauces. Another quick toss for 1 minute
~ add corn starch mixtue with water to thicken the sauce
~ remove and garnish with dried shallots. Serve with steamed rice


Preparation Time: 3 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 minutes
Eating Time: well, what do you think? 🙂



About Victor

I live in Melbourne. Blogging as a pleasure. Sharing my thoughts, mostly on food and places I find interesting. I am on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Page which you can follow by clicking on the link on my blog page.
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