Thursday, January 07, 2010

Lettuce, lettuce stems, celtuce, asparagus lettuce - confused?

I had better luck using a Chinese search engine - Baidu, when I wanted to know what lettuce stem was. Known in Mandarin as 莴笋 (WoSun) or 莴苣 (WoJu), lettuce stem is also known as Celtuce, or Asparagus Lettuce. Looking at its nutritional value, I'm happy to find a wide ranging good minerals and vitamins in this vegetable. And know where I got this pictorial diagram of Lettuce (below)? It was in a toddler's book(made up of flash cards) which introduces a variety of fruits and vegetables as a form of everyday learning. I am amazed!


If you manage to find lettuce stems in your supermarket, try them. They are grown for both its leaves and its stalks. With the stems, you can simply do a stir-fry with green onions, garlic and marinated tofu slices (option); then lightly season with salt, white pepper, and sesame oil.


With the leaves, go ahead with a garlic stir-fry like you would for any green leafy greens.


I can find this vegetable in Ranch 99 (not sure if it is available in Singapore). Good! With kale and chayote, lettuce stem is another newbie to my list of vegetable-to-buy in future. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this vegetable has unique nutritional value - due to the presence of lactucrium, aids digestion and has anti-inflammatory effects; with potassium, the vegetable can help regulate blood pressure, muscle contraction and keep body processes working right. Won't this be a great introduction to Weekend Herb Blogging, with Cook Almost Anything?

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