Do you have a moment to talk about our root and savior, celtuce?
Perhaps this girthy stem lettuce doesn’t have a cult following, and I’m not exactly the most convincing salesperson, but tasting is believing. I’m on a mission to spread the good word for this sadly unsung Chinese vegetable that deserves a fervent fan base. Since we last spoke of our planted redeemer, I haven’t seen a surge in popularity, so I’m back with another pitch that won’t miss.
Why You’ll Love This Celtuce Stir Fry
Pretty much anything can be stir fried with great success, but celtuce is a truly exceptional selection.
- Cooks in minutes. High heat lightly cooks the food while keeping it tender-crisp throughout, making this a dish you can get on the table at a moment’s notice.
- Minimal ingredients. Just a few pantry staples and fresh aromatics stand between you and instant gratification.
- Bold, savory flavors. This is the real reason you’ll want to make this recipe again and again. A touch of nutty sesame oil goes a long way in adding depth and richness, bolstered by umami garlic chives and scallions. Warm fresh ginger and peppers spice things up, while a touch of black vinegar adds acid that cuts through it all, lingering with a gentle sweetness at the end.
How To Cut Celtuce
The thick skin protecting each stalk makes celtuce seem intimidating to break down, but it’s really a snap to hack.
- Use a sharp peeler or knife to cut away the thick outer skin. Remove the dried out bottom and leafy top.
- Slice it on a bias to make long strips, about 2 – 3mm wide.
- Stack a few of the strips at a time and cut those into thin ribbons.
- Repeat until the whole stalk is thinly julienned.
If you have any means of getting your hands on fresh celtuce, you’re doing yourself a disservice by leaving it at the store. Support your local Asian market, ask your closest specialty store to carry it, or even order it online. There’s nothing else quite like celtuce and once you’ve been enlightened by its virtues, you’ll become a believer, too.
- 1 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
- 2 Ounces Garlic Chives
- 2 Large Scallions, Thinly Sliced, Divided
- 1 Serrano Pepper, Thinly Sliced
- 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Ginger, Finely Minced
- 1 Large Celtuce Stalk (About 1 Pound), Peeled and Julienned
- 2 Teaspoons Black Vinegar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground White Pepper
- Set a large wok or skillet over high heat and add the oil. Once shimmering, add the garlic chives, scallions, serrano, and ginger, sauteing for about a minute while constantly stirring.
- When the mixture is aromatic, add the celtuce. Stir fry for 3 - 4 minutes, until slightly softened. Mix in the vinegar, salt, and pepper, sauteing for another 30 - 60 seconds to incorporate.
- Transfer to plates and serve hot.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 26Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 356mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.