10-Minute Celtuce Stir-Fry Recipe

This celtuce stir-fry recipe is unlike my other green, leafy vegetable recipes. The leaves arent the main star of this dish, but its actually the celtuces stem! Simply stir-fry the strips of stem with minced garlic, chives, and bell pepper and season with salt and bouillon powder.

What Is Celtuce?

Celtuce is a type of lettuce known by many names, such as stem lettuce, Chinese lettuce, and celery lettuce. Unlike other vegetables that are cooked for their leaves, celtuce is mainly eaten for its thick stems. It is a nutrient-rich superfood loaded with vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, and magnesium.Celtuce2

The thick, white stems are eaten either raw or cooked. Its texture is similar to a crisp, tender broccoli, while its nutty taste is like a combination of cucumber and lettuce. Although celtuce is eaten for its stems, the green leaves can also be consumed, which gives a slightly bitter taste.

You can cook celtuce in various ways, from grilling to blanching and stir-frying. For this stir-fry recipe, the celtuce stem is chopped into thin strips. Then, it is blanched for a few seconds before stir-frying with chopped garlic, salt, bouillon powder, Chinese chives, and red bell pepper.Stir Fry Celtuce

It is super easy and simple! If you love stir-fried dishes or side dish vegetables, here are my other delicious recipes:

Tips On How To Customize Celtuce Stir-FryStir Fry Celtuce3

Listed below are my top tips and ingredient alternatives. I also share the best way to prepare the ingredients and other optional flavoring ingredients to try. Follow these tips before starting with the recipe steps.

  • Celtuce: Celtuce is typically available in Asian grocery stores or in local markets during spring or summer. It is usually sold with the leaves chopped off already, but you may still find those with the leaves attached. You can get long or short celtuce stems, the shorter stems being the younger ones. When choosing celtuce, get the ones with bright, green leaves and white stems without brown or yellow blotches.
    • How to prepare celtuce: Chop off the leaves from the stems, but don’t discard them. Some people mistakenly believe that the leaves are A Choy, but they are actually not the same. Despite their differences, you can still use the leaves to prepare the dish A Choy Blanched With Garlic Sauce. To clean the white stem, use a peeler or paring knife to peel off the outer skin. When peeled, you should have a green, tender flesh.
    • Use your extra celtuce and incorporate it with my Seaweed Egg Drop Soup recipe or salads.
  • Lard: Lard is used as an oil to stir-fry the ingredients. The purpose of lard is to add a richer taste with a hint of pork. You can get lard in Asian grocery stores or online markets like Amazon. Alternatively, you can follow my recipe on How To Make Lard With Pork Fat. This lard recipe only requires 1000g of pork fat, green onion, slices of ginger, and cooking wine. Lard is optional and can be replaced with non-pork alternatives like vegetable shortening, butter, or vegetable oil. If you want to incorporate a strong nutty, earthy taste, you can use sesame oil.
  • Garlic: Garlic is a staple ingredient for stir-fried dishes. It adds a nutty and pungent taste. If you don’t have garlic but want the garlicky flavors, you can substitute 1 clove of garlic with 1/8 tsp of garlic powder or 1/4 tsp of granulated garlic. Another alternative is to use ready-made crispy fried garlic.
  • Salt: Salt helps bring out the flavors of each ingredient. Use any type of salt, such as sea salt, pink salt, and kosher salt, and adjust to taste.
  • Bouillon powder: Bouillon powder adds a kick of umaminess. You can use chicken, vegetable, mushroom, or chicken-flavored vegan powder.  
  • Chinese chives: In addition to garlic, chives also lend a mild garlicky taste with notes of onion. It is similar to green onions, but it has tapered and tubular green leaves. If you have extra chives, use them to make Chive Pancakes, Chinese Chive and Egg Stir Fry, and Chinese Chive Pockets. You can swap chives with green onions or regular onions like white, yellow, or red.
  • Bell pepper: I used red bell pepper, but you can also use green or yellow. Remove the seeds and stem. Then, cut it into thin strips. Apart from bell pepper, you can also incorporate thin strips of carrots. Remember, the key to cooking the ingredients fast for stir-frying is to chop all the ingredients into thin strips or small pieces.
  • Optional flavoring ingredients: To add more flavor and texture, here are optional ingredients you can experiment with and adjust to taste.
    • White pepper: Add this for a musty taste with subtle heat.
    • Black pepper: Add this for a smokey, piney taste.
    • Protein: Make it a heavy veggie meal with protein-packed ingredients, such as tofu, mushrooms, or soy meat. If you are a vegetarian and like eggs, you can also mix in scrambled eggs.
    • Wood ear mushrooms: Add an earthy, umami taste with wood ear mushrooms. You can also use fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms. I prefer the dried form of mushrooms since they have a stronger flavor profile. If using dried mushrooms, they are rehydrated first by soaking in hot water. It should eventually become soft, ready for stir-frying.
    • Dried chili pepper: Make it hot and spicy with chopped chili peppers or pepper flakes. You can also use cayenne pepper to add spiciness.
    • Sugar: Make it slightly sweet or counter the saltiness with granulated sugar or liquid sweeteners.
    • Cooking wine: This adds a sweet and briny taste. You can use Shaoxing wine, cooking sake, or alcohol-free cooking wine. The taste may vary, depending on the type of cooking wine used.
    • Ginger: Add ginger slices or strips for a warm, peppery taste. You can swap fresh with ginger powder.

Ingredients And Kitchenware


You only need two things: a knife for chopping and a wok for blanching and stir-frying. If you don’t have a wok, you can just use a regular pan. However, you may miss out on some of the favorite benefits of using a wok.

For instance, a wok is better for stirring and tossing since it has wide, slanted sidewalls. Because of its shape and material, it is better at cooking at high heat and being able to trap and distribute it evenly. Thus, it cooks the dish faster and evenly. Lastly, it lets you experience the authentic “wok hei” effect, giving your dish a delicious smoky taste and aroma.


  • 2 stems of celtuce (peeled and chopped into strips)
  • Water (for blanching)
  • 1 tbsp of lard
  • 6-8 pieces of garlic (roughly chopped or minced)
  • ½ tsp of salt (adjust to taste)
  • ½ tsp of bouillon powder
  • 1 bunch of Chinese chives (2-inch cuts)
  • 1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)

5 Steps To Stir-Fry Celtuce

Once all the ingredients are prepared, simply blanch the celtuce strips and stir-fry all the ingredients until well combined. This super easy 5-step dish can be finished in 10 minutes! Learn how I made this dish by watching my Instagram or TikTok tutorial video.

Did you love this recipe? Share your thoughts and recommendations by leaving a comment in the comments section. Don’t forget to tag me @kitchenmisadventures!

  • Heat a pot of water. While the water is heating up, prepare the other ingredients. Start by removing the leaves from the celtuce, peeling the skin, and cutting the stem into 2-inch segments. Then, slice the segments into thin slices, and further cut them into strips. You can also chop the garlic, chives, and red bell pepper at this time.Cut the celtuce stem into 2 inch cutsSlice the chopped stems into thin strips
  • Once the water reaches a boil, blanch the celtuce strips for about 20 seconds. Be careful not to over-blanch them, as you want to retain their crunchiness and prevent them from becoming too soggy. Blanching not only gives the celtuce strips a vibrant green color but also helps reduce any bitter flavors they may have. After blanching, remove the celtuce from the pot and drain off any excess water.blanch the celtuce strips
  • Heat about a tablespoon of lard in the pan and let it melt.
  • Add chopped garlic to the pan and sauté until fragrant. Then, add the blanched celtuce strips.Add chopped garlic to the pan
  • Season with salt and chicken bouillon powder. Add Chinese chives and red bell pepper strips. Stir-fry everything on high heat until well combined. Do this quickly and avoid overcooking the vegetables to prevent a soggy dish. Serve hot and enjoy the celtuce crunch and juicy flavor!Add Chinese chivesadd red bell pepper stripsStir fry everything on high heat until well combinedStir Fry Celtuce2


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