Celtuce is the result of a mutation in regular lettuce plants, causing them to grow outwards rather than upwards, which results in longer stalks with edible leaves at their end. Celtuce goes by many names, some of which contain the word “lettuce,” which makes sense, as it is indeed a varietal of lettuce. You might see it advertised as “stem lettuce,” “asparagus lettuce,” or “celery lettuce,” or, at Chinese grocery stores, as wosun.
It is a popular vegetable in Chinese cuisine. Some examples of dish names that use celtuce are “Lettuce Pork Rolls,” “Braised Lettuce and Mushrooms," and "Smoked Fish with Spicy Celery Leaves.” While celtuce can be eaten raw, it is generally boiled or stir-fried, and its flavor complements meat dishes well. However, some people find it tough to chew on.
Celtuce contains a good amount of vitamin C and several minerals that are beneficial to one's health. Celery leaves contain antioxidants that are one of the most powerful nutrients in fighting cancer. Celtuce comes from a mutated variety of iceberg lettuce, which is why it has a crunchier texture than regular lettuce. One way to cook celtuce is to boil it for three minutes and then fry it with garlic cloves, ginger, soy sauce, oil, and chili peppers.
Chinese cuisine is an amazing blend of different styles of food and cooking methods, which result in a ton of variety. Celtuce is one type of vegetable popularly used in Chinese dishes. It is also known by several other names, but the most common are “stem lettuce” or “celery lettuce.” Regardless, its scientific name is Lactuca sativa var. angustana, which means it’s a type of lettuce.
Pork and celery leaves are often used together in Chinese dishes such as braised lettuce and mushrooms, smoked fish with spicy celery leaves, and lettuce pork rolls. Celtuce is boiled or stir-fried to bring out its flavor before being used in cooking. It can also be eaten raw, but since it’s tough to chew on, most people prefer to boil or stir fry it for between three and five minutes. The ones that are boiled should be drained of water after they turn soft.
Some Chinese recipes use celtuce as the main ingredient, but it can also be used as a side dish or garnish. One popular recipe is braised lettuce and mushrooms. It’s a great example because the mushroom taste enhances celtuce flavor while cooking, plus celtuce has a crunchier texture than regular lettuce which adds some variety to food that contains lettuce.