---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.02
  
       Title: MY MOTHER'S LETTUCE PACKAGES
  Categories: Entrees, Chinese, Cathe
       Yield: 4 servings
  
       1    Lettuce head
       4 c  Corn oil
     1/3 c  Walnut pieces
       1 oz Bean thread noodles
       1 tb Garlic, minced
      12 oz Pork, ground
       2    Green onions
       1 cn Smoked clams
       1 cn Water chestnuts (small)
       1 c  Lettuce, coarsely chopped
       1 tb Soy sauce
     1/4 ts Cayenne pepper
       2 tb Oyster sauce
       1 ts Sherry
     1/4 ts Sugar
       1 ts Sesame oil
       2 ts Cornstarch, mixed with
       1 tb Water
  
   Cut green onions into pea-sized pieces.  Drain and
   chop coarsely the smoked clams and water chestnuts.
   Detach lettuce leaves from core, wash and dry them
   gently.  Arrange lettuce leaves around the edge of a
   large platter.
   
   Heat oil in wok until it is about to smoke.  Tear bean
   thread noodles apart and cut with scissors into small
   portions. Carefully put a portion of the noodles into
   the hot oil.  (They will expand dramatically!) As soon
   as they expand, turn them over and cook the other side
   briefly. Drain them and remove to a bowl lined with
   several layers of paper towels. Cook the remaining
   noodles in the same way.  Drain them very well with
   paper towels and then crunch them and put them into
   the center of the serving platter, surrounded by the
   lettuce leaves.
   
   Put the walnuts into a strainer and immerse them into
   the hot oil. They will brown very quickly.  Be careful
   they do not burn. Remove them to a paper towel, drain
   well and chop into coarse pieces.
   
   Remove all but 2 T of oil from the wok.  Saute the
   minced garlic and chopped green onions until lightly
   browned.  Add the ground pork and saute until it loses
   its pink color and starts to brown. Use a large spoon
   to remove as much grease as possible from the pork
   mixture.
   
   Add the chopped smoked clams, chopped water chestnuts
   and chopped lettuce to the pork mixture.  Mix well.
   
   Combine the soy sauce, cayenne, oyster sauce, sherry,
   sugar and sesame oil; stir into the cooking mixture
   and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.  Remix
   the cornstarch and water and add to the middle of the
   wok.  Stir constantly, blending other ingredients into
   cornstarch mixture and simmer three more minutes.
   
   Pour the cooked dish on top of the bean thread needles
   on the serving platter.  Sprinkle the walnut pieces on
   top and serve at once. To eat: Place a lettuce leaf on
   your plate.  Put a spoonful of the pork mixture and
   noodles in the middle of the leaf.  Fold the leaf up
   and eat the package like a bared.  Serves 12 as part
   of a family style Chinese dinner, 4 as a main dish.
  
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