Chinese celery is somewhat different from the celery that we are used to. It has a much stronger flavor than Western celery, and the stalks of Chinese celery are thinner, often with a hollow middle. And 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 the same.
- Get rid of all the leaves and roots on the celery stalks. Rinse the celery and drain. Place celery on a cutting board and use your hand to press down on the celery stalks to gently crush them. Slice the celery stalks into 1-inch-long sections.
- Heat up a wok with oil at high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and chili and stir-fry until the fragrance comes out.
- Add celery and stir-fry until it turns slightly dark green. Add the stock and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the rice wine, soy sauce, and sugar and mix evenly. Cook until the mixture is nearly dry. Serve immediately.
All About Chinese Celery
When you purchase Chinese celery from Chinese supermarkets, it usually comes with leaves and roots which you will need to get rid of, along with any dried up stalks, before you add to a recipe. 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.
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.
Chinese celery is a good source of vitamin A and K and minerals like potassium, sodium, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. It is also high in folic acid, niacin, and vitamin C, which are all essential for optimum metabolism. In addition to its nutritional value, celery is also very low in calories.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||4 g|
|Saturated Fat||1 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||2 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g|