Plant Life Balance

Lettuce has never tasted this good

On the hunt for your next favourite plant based, mid-week meal? Look no further than this deceivingly-simple recipe from Cornersmith.

No judgement – we’ve all been there – but remember those times you had to dig out sorry-looking lettuce leaves from the back of your fridge? (RIP forgotten lettuce. You didn’t deserve to go like that). Well, get ready to kiss those days goodbye because we have discovered THE BEST lettuce recipe going around, courtesy of our lovely friends Alex and Jaimee from one of Sydney’s much-loved local picklery, Cornersmith.

This recipe hails from Cornersmith’s brand new cook book-come-kitchen guide, Use It All. We sat down with Alex and Jaimee to chat all about it, so if you’re wondering what other goodies the book contains – check out that interview here.

Anyway, lettuce cups! Your new favourite mid-week meal! Simple, quick and highly adaptable to your personal tastes, this recipe does the perfect job of using up all your miscellaneous fresh veggies while adding just a touch of spicy punch. Add a protein of your choice and you’ll have a healthy meal on the table with minimal effort.


Core ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 spring onions (scallions), chopped
2–3 cups (150–225 g) thinly sliced vegetables
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon mirin or dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin
Iceberg or cos (romaine) lettuce cups, to serve
Steamed rice, to serve
Toasted sesame seeds, to serve
Lemon wedges, to serve
Hot sauce or thinly sliced red chilli, to serve


green beans
zucchini (courgette)
capsicum (pepper)
bok choy

300 g (10½ oz) protein, e.g.:
left-over cooked fish
free-range minced (ground) pork
poached shredded chicken (page 95)
beef strips


Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over high heat, add the garlic and spring onion and stir-fry for less than 1 minute.

Add the thinly sliced vegetables and salt and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes until the vegetables are tender but still bright. Remove the vegetables from the wok, then add the protein and stir-fry until browned and cooked through (if using left-over fish or poached chicken, you’ll just need to heat it through). Splash in the mirin or sherry, soy sauce and hoisin. Return the vegetables to the wok and mix through.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with lettuce cups, steamed rice, sesame seeds for sprinkling over, lemon wedges and your choice of hot sauce or chilli and condiments.


Images and text from ‘Use It All’ by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards

Photography by Cath Muscat

Murdoch Books, $39.99

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