Celtuce, what is it and what do I do with it?

Celtuce pronounced  ‘sel-tis’  is making a debut here at Red Wagon.

Celtuce is an Asian vegetable. To me it tastes like a cross of a cucumber and the thick rib of a romaine lettuce leaf. It has a very concentrated lettuce taste and is very ‘juicy’ and tender. The leaves are a little bitter but very tender. In Asian stores they sell the stem and the leaves separately I guess because they are so different in flavor.

I would use the leaves like I would radicchio. As the leaves are a little bitter don’t let that scare you off eating the stems if you don’t like bitter vegetables. Just throw the leaves away and move on to the mild tender stems.

To use the stems you peel them like tough asparagus stock bottoms or even celery. Use a vegetable peeler or just a knife and peel the stringy outside off the tender stock. They peel very easily.

You can eat celtuce raw alone or in salads like you would celery, carrots or cucumbers, or very quickly stir fry it for a quick side dish, don’t cook it too long or it will turn to mush. You can cut it in coins or in small blocks.

This looked like an easy tasty recipe I might try soon. I made some egg drop soup and added celtuce to the soup and cooked it for just a minute or two. The mild flavor and texture was perfect with the egg and tofu. Yummy.

Celtuce stems will keep for at least 3 or 4 weeks in the refrigerator. Cut the top leaves off and use them right away. Don’t peel your stems before storing. Put the stems in a plastic bag and keep them in your vegetable drawer.

I hope you will try celtuce this week. It’s a mild very approachable vegetable I think you will really like.

See you at pickup.



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1 Response to Celtuce, what is it and what do I do with it?

  1. Tina says:

    Hi Mo, you’re egg drop soup with celtuce and tofu looks great. Do you have a recipe you wouldn’t mind sharing? Thanks!

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