Is this the Tastiest of Vegetables?
Can't wait! The little heads of green are starting to develop!
I am referring to Yau Mak, a type of small lettuce which make the most anticipated stir-fried vegetables. Stir-fried yau mak is common throughout the restaurants of Malaysia. Luckily, here in Australia, we can purchase the seed stock of this delicious vegetable... Simply seek out Little Gem lettuce seeds. I have purchased these on-line but they can also be found in a leading hardware supply store. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, you cannot purchase the fresh lettuce heads of Little Gem in supermarkets or fruit shops.
Yau Mak is easy to grow. Simply keep it well-fertilised and weed-free, and it will reward you with small, tight hearts of its crisp, sweet leaves. At this time of year, it will require plenty of sunlight to produce its best plants, but succession crops in the hotter parts of our year will appreciate the morning sun and a little more shade. As your crop matures retain your best plant or two. Allow the plants to self-seed, and you will receive a bounty of new yau mak seedlings when the time is right for seed germination.
So, how to cook it? There is a plethora of simple recipes on-line. Our favourite is to stir-fry the leaves
with garlic and a little salt so that you can appreciate the wonderful flavour of the crispy leaves. Furthermore, the addition of a little oyster sauce is a great option.
When our picking season begins I will post a simple yau mak recipe.