Celtuce or Stem Lettuce Recipes and Serving Suggestions

Updated on February 24, 2018
Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or under-used ingredients.

Celtuce, chicken and ham turmeric fried rice with fried egg
Celtuce, chicken and ham turmeric fried rice with fried egg

What is Celtuce?

Celtuce is a vegetable developed from lettuce, a fact which explains many of its alternative names including but not limited to stem lettuce and asparagus lettuce. In Southeast Asia, where it is particularly popular and used extensively in cooking, it is known as wosun. The leaves of the plant do resemble certain other types of lettuce but the mottled stem is more reminiscent of the celeriac bulb. The leaves are perfect for including in a wide variety of salad recipes, while the peeled stem is surprisingly soft in texture and mild, almost citrus like in flavour.

Celtuce is also known as stem lettuce or by a number of other different names
Celtuce is also known as stem lettuce or by a number of other different names

While it is rare at the present time to find celtuce in mainstream supermarkets in the West, it can regularly be found in Chinese or other Asian markets. It will keep for several days in the bottom compartment of your fridge.

Separated celtuce stem and leaves
Separated celtuce stem and leaves

The leaves and stem of celtuce can be used either in the same recipe or separately. To prepare for cooking or including in food, simply cut the leaves away from the stem, at which point they can be separated and washed. The bottom end of the stem should be cut away and discarded before the remainder of the bulb is peeled with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife.

Peeled and cleaned celtuce stem and leaves
Peeled and cleaned celtuce stem and leaves

Note that it is best to peel the celtuce stem at the last minute before use, otherwise it will oxidise and darken in colour. This will not spoil it for use but may affect presentation. If you have peeled stem left over, put it in an airtight dish and in to the fridge and use as soon as possible.

Spicy Sauteed Celtuce and Brussels Sprouts with Pan Fried Cod and Turmeric Potatoes

Chilli spiced sauteed celtuce and Brussels sprouts with turmeric spiced cod and potatoes
Chilli spiced sauteed celtuce and Brussels sprouts with turmeric spiced cod and potatoes

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 30 min

Ready in: 35 min

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 6 or 7 medium Brussels sprouts
  • Salt
  • 6 medium sized baby new potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric (1 for potatoes and 1 for dusting fish)
  • 2 tablespoons plain (all purpose) flour
  • Black pepper
  • 4 to 6 ounce cod loin fillet
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • ½ medium celtuce stem
  • 1 ounce (¼ stick) butter, plus extra for potatoes
  • ½ teaspoon medium chilli powder

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sprouts are brought to a simmer in salted waterPotatoes are seasoned with salt, pepper and turmericDrained sprouts are left to coolSeasoned flourCod is patted in seasoned flour and added to frying panChopped celtuce stemDrained potatoesCod fillet is turned in frying panSpiced butter for sauteing celtuce and sproutsSauteing sproutsButtered potatoesCod, celtuce and sprouts are plated
Sprouts are brought to a simmer in salted water
Sprouts are brought to a simmer in salted water
Potatoes are seasoned with salt, pepper and turmeric
Potatoes are seasoned with salt, pepper and turmeric
Drained sprouts are left to cool
Drained sprouts are left to cool
Seasoned flour
Seasoned flour
Cod is patted in seasoned flour and added to frying pan
Cod is patted in seasoned flour and added to frying pan
Chopped celtuce stem
Chopped celtuce stem
Drained potatoes
Drained potatoes
Cod fillet is turned in frying pan
Cod fillet is turned in frying pan
Spiced butter for sauteing celtuce and sprouts
Spiced butter for sauteing celtuce and sprouts
Sauteing sprouts
Sauteing sprouts
Buttered potatoes
Buttered potatoes
Cod, celtuce and sprouts are plated
Cod, celtuce and sprouts are plated
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and carefully add the sprouts. Adjust the heat and simmer for five minutes.
  2. Cut the washed but unpeeled potatoes in half across the way and add them to a large pot with a teaspoon of ground turmeric and some salt. Pour in plenty of cold water and bring to a simmer for twenty-five minutes.
  3. Drain the sprouts and let them steam off for a few minutes before covering and setting aside to cool completely.
  4. Ten minutes before the potatoes are due to be ready, scatter the flour on a plate and season with the remaining turmeric, some salt and black pepper.
  5. Pour a little oil in to a non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat.
  6. Pat the cod fillet in the flour, ensuring even coating. Shake gently to remove any excess and lay it in the pan to fry for three or four minutes each side until done.
  7. Put the ounce/¼ stick of butter in the pot used to boil the sprouts and season with the chilli powder and some black pepper. Put the pot on a low to medium heat to melt the butter.
  8. Peel and moderately finely slice the celtuce stem and add to the melted butter with the sprouts. Stir around for a minute or so just to effectively heat through, taking care not to burn the butter.
  9. Drain the potatoes and return them to the empty pot. Let them steam off for a minute or two before adding a little butter and some black pepper. Swirl the pot gently to ensure all the pieces become evenly coated in the butter.
  10. Lift the cod carefully to a serving plate with a fish slice and arrange the potatoes and sprouts/celtuce alongside.

Celtuce and Celery Balsamic Salad with Cheddar Cheese and Cream Crackers

Celtuce and celery balsamic salad with cheddar creese and crackers
Celtuce and celery balsamic salad with cheddar creese and crackers

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: n/a

Ready in: 5 min

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • ½ medium celtuce stem
  • 3 or 4 small celtuce leaves
  • 1 stick of celery
  • ¼ small red onion
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Black pepper
  • 2 ounce piece cheddar or similar hard cheese
  • 3 crackers
  • Butter (optional)

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Principal celtuce and celery salad ingredientsPrepared salad ingredients are added to a mixing bowlSalad ingredients are carefully stirred and combinedEnjoying celtuce and celery salad with cheese and crakcers
Principal celtuce and celery salad ingredients
Principal celtuce and celery salad ingredients
Prepared salad ingredients are added to a mixing bowl
Prepared salad ingredients are added to a mixing bowl
Salad ingredients are carefully stirred and combined
Salad ingredients are carefully stirred and combined
Enjoying celtuce and celery salad with cheese and crakcers
Enjoying celtuce and celery salad with cheese and crakcers
  1. Peel the celtuce stem and finely slice. Wash the leaves and also finely slice before adding both to a mixing bowl.
  2. Wash, top and tail the celery stick and slice to a thickness of around a quarter inch. Finely slice the peeled onion quarter and add both to the bowl with the celtuce.
  3. Measure out the balsamic vinegar in to the bowl, season with some black pepper and give a careful stir to combine.
  4. Cut the cheese in to small cubes and arrange on one half of a serving plate with half the salad spooned either side. Plate the crackers. Butter for spreading on the crackers is optional.

Stir Fried Chicken, Celtuce and Bell Peppers

Stir fried chicken, celtuce and bell peppers with prawn crackers
Stir fried chicken, celtuce and bell peppers with prawn crackers

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 5 min

Ready in: 10 min

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 small skinless chicken breast fillet
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • ½ medium celtuce stem
  • ¼ small white onion
  • Handful mixed bell pepper slices
  • 1 tablespoon chopped celtuce leaves
  • Light soy sauce
  • Prawn crackers to serve

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Celtuce stem and white onion piecesSliced celtuce and onionChicken is added to hot wokPrepared vegetables are added to part cooked chickenChicken and vegetables are stir fried on a high heatCeltuce leaves are added to the stir fry at the very last minute
Celtuce stem and white onion pieces
Celtuce stem and white onion pieces
Sliced celtuce and onion
Sliced celtuce and onion
Chicken is added to hot wok
Chicken is added to hot wok
Prepared vegetables are added to part cooked chicken
Prepared vegetables are added to part cooked chicken
Chicken and vegetables are stir fried on a high heat
Chicken and vegetables are stir fried on a high heat
Celtuce leaves are added to the stir fry at the very last minute
Celtuce leaves are added to the stir fry at the very last minute
  1. Chop the chicken breast in to approximately three-quarter inch cubes.
  2. Peel and finely slice both the celtuce stem and the white onion quarter.
  3. Pour a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in to a very hot wok and when the oil has come up to heat, add the chicken and stir fry for an initial muinute.
  4. Add the onion, celtuce and peppers and stir fry for a further minute.
  5. Add the celtuce leaves and season with a generous splash of light soy sauce. Give a final thorough stir and serve on a plate with the prawn crackers.

Chicken and Celtuce Fusilli Pasta

Chicken and celtuce fusilli pasta
Chicken and celtuce fusilli pasta

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 15 min

Ready in: 20 min

Yields: 1 serving


Ingredients

  • 1 coffee mug full of fusilli pasta
  • Salt
  • 8 ounce can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Pinch of dried basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 small skinless chicken breast fillet
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon chopped celtuce leaves, plus extra to garnish

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Measuring out fusilli pastaSeasoned canned tomaotesSeasoned chicken strips are added to hot fryin gpanChicken strips are turned to fry on second sideDrained fusilli pastaPasta, chicken and celtuce are added to tomato sauceChicken and celtuce pasta ingredients are stirred togetherEnjoying chicken and celtuce fusilli pasta
Measuring out fusilli pasta
Measuring out fusilli pasta
Seasoned canned tomaotes
Seasoned canned tomaotes
Seasoned chicken strips are added to hot fryin gpan
Seasoned chicken strips are added to hot fryin gpan
Chicken strips are turned to fry on second side
Chicken strips are turned to fry on second side
Drained fusilli pasta
Drained fusilli pasta
Pasta, chicken and celtuce are added to tomato sauce
Pasta, chicken and celtuce are added to tomato sauce
Chicken and celtuce pasta ingredients are stirred together
Chicken and celtuce pasta ingredients are stirred together
Enjoying chicken and celtuce fusilli pasta
Enjoying chicken and celtuce fusilli pasta
  1. Bring a large pot of well salted water up to a rolling boil. Add the pasta, stir well and adjust the heat to achieve a moderate simmer for eight to ten minutes.
  2. Pour the tomatoes in to a small saucepan. Season with salt, pepper and the dried herbs. Stir well with a wooden spoon and bring to as gentle a simmer as possible.
  3. Slice the chicken in to three-quarter inch strips. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat a little oil in a small non-stick frying pan and fry the chicken strips for two to three minutes each side until done.
  5. Drain the pasta and allow to steam off for a few minutes.
  6. Lift the chicken strips to a plate and cut in to small bite sized pieces.
  7. Add the pasta, chicken and tablespoon of celtuce leaves to the sauce and stir fold to combine. Transfer to a serving plate or bowl and garnish with the last of the chopped leaves.

Hot and Spicy Tomato, Brussels Sprouts and Celtuce Soup

Hot and spicy tomato, Brussels sprouts and celtuce soup
Hot and spicy tomato, Brussels sprouts and celtuce soup

Cook Time

Prep time: 40 min

Cook time: 20 min

Ready in: 1 hour

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 celtuce stem
  • 1 medium red chilli
  • 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pints fresh vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped celtuce leaves, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped celery leaves

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Solid soup ingredients are prepared and added to potStock is added to soup pot and ingredients are stirred togetherCooked soup is left to cool before being blendedBlended soup is returned to washed out potCeltuce and celery leaves are added to soupSoup is redy to serveSoup ladled in to serving plate
Solid soup ingredients are prepared and added to pot
Solid soup ingredients are prepared and added to pot
Stock is added to soup pot and ingredients are stirred together
Stock is added to soup pot and ingredients are stirred together
Cooked soup is left to cool before being blended
Cooked soup is left to cool before being blended
Blended soup is returned to washed out pot
Blended soup is returned to washed out pot
Celtuce and celery leaves are added to soup
Celtuce and celery leaves are added to soup
Soup is redy to serve
Soup is redy to serve
Soup ladled in to serving plate
Soup ladled in to serving plate
  1. Wash the sprouts, trim away any damaged stalk ends and add them to your soup pot.
  2. Wash and trim the celery stalks and roughly chop. Peel and roughly chop the celtuce stem and add both to the pot with the sprouts.
  3. Cut the top from the chilli and discard. Cut it in half from top to bottom and carefully remove the seeds with the point of a sharp knife. The membranes were left in place in this instance as they contain the majority of the heat but they can be removed if desired. Roughly chop the chilli and add to the pot.
  4. Pour the tomatoes in to the pot and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour in the vegetable stock and put the pot on to a high heat. Stir well.
  6. When the liquid reaches a simmer, cover and maintain the simmer for fifteen minutes. Turn off the heat and leave for twenty to thirty minutes to part cool. This is simply because it is never a good idea to add boiling liquid to a blender or food processor.
  7. Blend the soup (in batches if necessary) until smooth and return to the washed out pot. Put back on the heat and stir in the celtuce and celery leaves. bring to a simmer and taste before adjusting the seasoning if necessary. It is now ready to be served with the remaining celtuce leaves as garnish.

Celtuce, Chicken and Ham Fried Rice

Celtuce chicken and ham fried rice is served with a fried egg
Celtuce chicken and ham fried rice is served with a fried egg

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 15 min

Ready in: 35 min

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces (½ cup) basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Salt
  • 1 small skinless chicken breast
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 slice leftover cooked ham (around 1 tablespoon when finely sliced/chopped)
  • ½ celtuce stem
  • 1 egg
  • Chopped celtuce leaves to garnish
  • Light soy sauce

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Rice is washed prior to being cookedTurmeric and salt are added to riceDrained turmeric ricePrepared ham and celtuceChicken is added to hot wokHam and celtuce are added to wokEgg is added to hot frying panCooled rice is added to wokLight soy sauce is added to stir frying riceCeltuce, chicken and ham fried rice isplatedFried egg is lifted to a plateA small drinking glass is used as a templet for trimming the fried eggCut egg is ready for platingFried egg is laid on top of fried riceTucking in to celtuce, chicken and ham fried rice with fried egg
Rice is washed prior to being cooked
Rice is washed prior to being cooked
Turmeric and salt are added to rice
Turmeric and salt are added to rice
Drained turmeric rice
Drained turmeric rice
Prepared ham and celtuce
Prepared ham and celtuce
Chicken is added to hot wok
Chicken is added to hot wok
Ham and celtuce are added to wok
Ham and celtuce are added to wok
Egg is added to hot frying pan
Egg is added to hot frying pan
Cooled rice is added to wok
Cooled rice is added to wok
Light soy sauce is added to stir frying rice
Light soy sauce is added to stir frying rice
Celtuce, chicken and ham fried rice isplated
Celtuce, chicken and ham fried rice isplated
Fried egg is lifted to a plate
Fried egg is lifted to a plate
A small drinking glass is used as a templet for trimming the fried egg
A small drinking glass is used as a templet for trimming the fried egg
Cut egg is ready for plating
Cut egg is ready for plating
Fried egg is laid on top of fried rice
Fried egg is laid on top of fried rice
Tucking in to celtuce, chicken and ham fried rice with fried egg
Tucking in to celtuce, chicken and ham fried rice with fried egg
  1. Wash the rice well through a fine sieve and add it to a large pot. Season with the turmeric and some salt.
  2. Pour plenty of boiling water in to the pot and simmer the rice for ten minutes before draining well through the sieve. Spread it out on a large plate and leave it for fifteen minutes to cool.
  3. Break the egg carefully in to a small cup or bowl and season with a little salt. Wipe a small, non-stick frying pan with a little oil and put it on to reach a medium to high heat.
  4. Pour two or three tablespoons of vegetable oil in to your wok and bring it up to a high heat.
  5. Carefully pour the egg in to the frying pan and after a few seconds (when it has started to hold its shape) reduce the heat to low.
  6. Dice the chicken to bite sized pieces and stir fry for a minute or so in the hot wok before adding the sliced celtuce stem and ham to stir fry for a further minute.
  7. Add the cooled rice to the wok along with a generous splash of light soy sauce and stir well before transferring to a deep serving plate.
  8. The egg is ready when you can see the white has set all the way around the yolk. At this stage, lift it carefully to a plate with a spatula.
  9. Use a drinking glass as a template by laying it over the egg with the yolk in the centre and trimming around the edge with the blunt edge of a knife.
  10. Lift the egg on to the fried rice and garnish with the celtuce leaves.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Gordon Hamilton

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