Chinese celery has a much strong flavour than European celery. The stalks of Chinese celery are thinner than European celery and it’s usually hollow in the middle. Before you cook Chinese celery I recommend you gently crush the celery stalks which result in a better texture and more flavour too.
Chinese people often like to cook Chinese celery with sliced dried tofu, julienned beef, pork or chicken, cross-cut squid or cuttlefish. You can choose any of those ingredients to stir-fry with Chinese celery.
When you purchase Chinese celery from Chinese supermarkets, they usually come with leaves and roots. Please get rid of then leaves, roots and any dried up stalks. Generally Chinese people don’t eat Chinese celery leaves but in recent years some people have said the Chinese celery leaves have more nutrition then the stalks. Perhaps this will lead to interesting Chinese celery leaf recipes in the future?
You can use olive oil, vegetable oil or sunflower oil for this recipe. I believe as long as you use “light” flavour oil to stir fry the food, that’s no problem at all. But please avoid any strong flavour oil, such as, extra virgin olive oil and sesame oil (unless you are cooking three cups chicken or other recipe that ask you to use toasted sesame oil.)
If you can’t get hold of Chinese celery then you can use western celery instead but please be aware the flavour won’t be the same.
Celery is a good source of vitamin A, K and minerals like potassium, sodium, calcium, manganese and magnesium. Apart from this, celery is also very low in calories. Chinese celery is also high in folic acid, niacin and vitamin-c, which are essential for optimum metabolism.
Edited by Liv Wan
- 8-10 ounces Chinese celery
- 1 tablespoon vegetable (or peanut oil, for stir-frying)
- 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 chili (seeds removed and julienned)
- 1.5 tablespoons chicken broth (or water)
- 2 teaspoons rice wine (or shaohsing rice wine)
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Get rid off all the leaves and roots. Rinse the celery and drain the water properly. Use your hand to press down the celery stalks then slice the celery stalks into 1 inch long sections.
- Heat up a wok with 1 tablespoon of oil at high heat. When the oil is hot add the garlic and chili. Stir fry until the fragrance comes out and add Chinese celery.
- Stir fry the celery until the celery turns slightly dark green and add the stock. Cook for 30 seconds.
- Add all the seasoning and mix evenly. Cook until it’s nearly dry. Ready to serve.