Stir-Fry Chinese Celery

Stir-Fry Chinese Celery

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
59 Calories
4g Fat
5g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 59
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 352mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 19mg 94%
Calcium 37mg 3%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 253mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This quick stir-fry has the perfect balance of salty, sweet, and spicy which marries nicely with the crisp-tender texture of celery. It takes just 15 minutes from start to finish and tastes great with rice, noodles, and a variety of meats and other vegetables.

Chinese celery is somewhat different from the celery that typically lines most produce shelves in American supermarkets. It has a much stronger flavor than Western celery, and the stalks of Chinese celery are thinner, often with a hollow middle. Although more slender than the celery we use for tuna salad and Bloody Marys, it is recommended that you gently crush the celery stalks before adding to a recipe, which will result in better texture and more flavor. Chinese celery is rarely eaten raw as it is pungent and somewhat peppery; when cooked, however, it becomes sweet and mellow with a pleasant, soft texture.

If you can’t get hold of Chinese celery then you can use the celery found in your grocery store instead, but be aware the flavor won’t be quite the same. 

"The simple sauce along with garlic and chili makes for a flavorful stir-fry. It's super quick and easy, but beware of the chili—it sent me into a coughing fit after hitting the hot pan, so turn on the fan in your oven hood and keep the room well-ventilated." —Laurel Randolph

Stir Fry Celery
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 8 to 10 ounces Chinese celery (about 1 bunch)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or peanut oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 fresh chili, seeds removed and thinly sliced

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chicken broth or water

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Stir-Fry Chinese Celery Recipe Ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Remove the leaves and roots from the celery stalks.

    Get rid of all the leaves and roots on the celery stalks

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Rinse the celery and drain.

    Rinse the celery

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Place the celery on a cutting board and use your hand to press down on the celery stalks to gently crush them.

    use your hand to press down on the celery stalks to gently crush them

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Slice the celery stalks into 1-inch-long sections.

    Slice the celery stalks

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Add the oil to a wok and heat it over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and chili and stir-fry just a few seconds until fragrant.

    Heat up a wok, add the garlic and chili

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Add celery and stir-fry until it turns slightly dark green, about a minute.

    celery cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Add the broth and cook for 30 seconds.

    add stock to the celery in the wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Add the soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar and mix evenly.

    Add the rice wine, soy sauce, and sugar to the celery in the wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  10. Stir-fry a few minutes until the mixture is nearly dry. Serve.

    Stir-Fry Chinese Celery in a wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma


  • A wok is the best cooking vessel for this recipe, but a large sauté pan will work in a pinch. Avoid non-stick pans since they don't hold up well over high heat.
  • Beware when stir-frying chiles over high heat. Once they hit the pan, they can create a reaction similar to pepper spray, leaving you coughing. Turn on the vent over the stove if you have one and keep your kitchen well-ventilated.
  • Adjust the chili to your taste. Green or red chiles work well in this recipe.

Recipe Variation

Chinese celery recipes often include sliced dried tofu, julienned beef, pork or chicken, or cross-cut squid or cuttlefish. Feel free to choose any of those ingredients to stir-fry with Chinese celery.

Can you eat Chinese celery leaves?

In general, Chinese people don’t eat Chinese celery leaves, but in recent years it has been reported that the Chinese celery leaves have more nutrition than the stalks. Perhaps this will lead to interesting Chinese celery leaf recipes in the future.

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