You might not be familiar with celtuce, yet it is one of our favorite veggies. This Celtuce Salad with Scallion Oil is excellent, both cooked and raw.
Celtuce, also known as stem and asparagus, is rising in popularity in the Western world. Let’s discuss what it is and why you should seek it out in your neighborhood Chinese market.
Celtuce is a type of lettuce explicitly bred for its thick stem, thus its other common names: stem and asparagus. The stem, which has a satisfying crunch, is the highlight, not the leaves.
My grandmother preferred to keep things straightforward, but you can easily amp up the taste by adding vinegar, honey, chile oil, garlic, and even our Chinese cold salad dressing. In the end, celtuce only needs a little to stand out on its own; you wouldn’t want to cover up its distinctively crisp and nutty taste.
This recipe is simple because I wanted the celtuce to be the star, but feel free to make it your own by adding your favorite ingredients and spices.
- 1 pound of celtuce
- 1 scallion (finely chopped)
- 2-3 tablespoons of any neutral oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt (plus more to taste if needed)
- 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- Remove the celtuce’s tough, light-green outer layer by peeling it. The celtuce should be julienned and placed in a big bowl. Marinate for 10 minutes after being sprinkled with half a teaspoon of salt. (Not for too much longer, lest you deplete the celtuce’s moisture content.)
- While that’s happening, heat the oil in a small saucepan until it begins to smoke over medium heat. To infuse the oil with scallions, add them now and fry for a minute. Stop using it and let it cool off.
- The liquid from the celtuce should be drained and thrown away. Salt to taste, sugar, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, and scallion oil (if needed). Start serving right away.