LOCAL LETTUCE: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

When we say ‘Local Lettuce’, we mean two things. Firstly, there are many types of lettuce out there (Romaine, Butter, Iceberg, etc.) and we are specifically talking about the Chinese Lettuce which is longish and is light green/white in colour. Secondly, of course, we mean that they are grown right here in Singapore!

While this is a common vegetable right here in our region, it is actually considered an ‘exotic’ variation of the lettuce in other parts of the world! Let’s take a closer look..

Also Known As

We call is Local Lettuce but it is more commonly known as “Chinese Lettuce” or Sheng Cai here.

Chinese – Sheng Cai (生菜)

Cantonese – Shang Choy

Taiwanese – Wo Ju (莴苣)

Malay – Selada

Flavor Profile

The Local Lettuce definitely has a stronger taste as compared to its western counterparts. Instead of the crisp leaves that most lettuces are known to have, the local lettuce has soft leaves. There is also a slight bitter aftertaste, and many claim they are refreshing when eaten raw.

Nutritious Benefits

i) Vitamins – The Local or Chinese Lettuce, like most leafy vegetables are rich in Vitamins A, Vitamin B6, Folate (B9),  Vitamin C and Vitamin K.

ii) Minerals – This variation of lettuce is has the following minerals that are essential for your body: Calcium, Fiber, Iron, Potassium and Phosphorus.

iii) Others – Like most lettuces, the Local Lettuce is high in antioxidants that aid in fighting off cancer cells/free radicals. As this vegetable is high in water content, it also helps keep the body hydrated. It has cooling and anti-inflammatory effects on the body as well.

Another interesting point is that some recommend it highly for smokers:

“Research shows, lettuce is also efficacious in counteracting inflammation of mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. This is because when chewed, lettuce, releasing the content of PEITC (phenethyl isothiocynate), a chemopreventive agent, fighting lung cancer.” – Quoted in LetsGoHealthy 

Consuming the Local Lettuce 

Its Chinese name ‘Sheng Cai’ is derived from the word ‘raw vegetable’ – understandably, this vegetable is usually (or best) consumed raw or fresh! Of course, for those who prefer to cook te local lettuce, try not to cook it for longer than 1-2 minutes (maximum) to ensure that the flavour and nutrients are not lost in the cooking process. Locals also love using this variation in soups, stir fries, and stews.

Do note that the lettuce is one of the vegetables that is the most vulnerable to pesticide exposure because of its proximity to the ground. To minimize intake of such chemicals ether get it organic or ensure that you wash it thoroughly before cooking or consumption.

** Get organic local lettuce delivered right to your doorstep: Order Online Here

Sources: LetsGoHealthy 

Feature Image: LifeOfGuangzhou.com

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