Stir-Fried Scallops With Lettuce

"From Wei-Chuan's Cookbook, Chinese Cuisine. This is an authentic chinese recipe. The dried scallops or dried shrimp lends a complex aroma to the clean crisp lettuce. Dried scallops are expensive, but they lend a sweet seafood taste and is much preferred, the dried shrimp is tasty too, but the flavor is more robust. Although I made this as is with the dried scallops --it was excellent, and I loved the texture of the lettuce, I find iceberg void of the nutrients of true green leafy vegetables favored by the Chinese. Therefore, this dish can be made with romaine lettuce, baby bok choy or pea shoot leaves (which are abundant in late winter and early spring in chinatowns in major cities.) We actually ordered this dish with scallop/pea shoot leaves recently over Chinese New Year in a restaurant and it would've been tastier with this sauce!"
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Ready In:
10hrs 10mins
1 platter


  • 3 dried scallops or 2 tablespoons dried shrimp
  • water, for soaking (soak in the fridge the morning of dinner)
  • Sauce

  • 34 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper or 1 pinch white pepper, if you have it
  • 1 cup strong chicken broth (if using canned, college inn is recommended, but cut back on salt)
  • 12 teaspoon sugar (this is my adaptation or addition)
  • Thickner

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 12 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons oil (I reduced amount to 1 TB)
  • 1 scallion, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce


  • Early morning PRE-PREP:

  • Place the scallops in a bowl; add 1/2 cup water, soak for approximately 10 hours (or steam for 1 hour) til the scallops are softened.
  • Final Prep:

  • Wash and tear lettuce into large sheets.
  • Remove scallops and drain, retaining soaking liquid. Tear the scallops into shreds. Place the shredded scallops, retained liquid, and the sauce ingredients into a pot; bring to boil, Add the cornstarch slurry/thickner into the pot and allow to thicken, then set aside.
  • Heat a wok (or saute pan) over med-high heat, add oil, and add the scallions, stir-fry until fragrant and then add lettuce. Continue stir-frying until it is limp. Remove from heat and using a slotted spoon (or drain the lettuce) and add to the scallop sauce. Reheat the lettuce and scallop sauce over medium heat and transfer to a serving platter and serve.
  • IF using dried shrimp, the shrimp must be rinsed and soaked for 20 minutes until soft before using.

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