What is Celtuce and How Do You Eat It?
I’ve been eating celtuce or asparagus lettuce (also called celery lettuce, stem lettuce, or Chinese stem lettuce) for a long time without knowing what it is! Its Chinese name is ?? (wo sun) or sometimes ?? (qing sun), which I had mistaken thought meant young bamboo.
But celtuce is not bamboo at all – it’s actually a type of lettuce where you eat the stem instead of the leaves.
What is Celtuce?
So, what is celtuce? As you can see from the photo above and the photos below, celtuce looks like this big green vegetable with a thick stalk and long leaves protruding from the top. It’s typically grown in China (mostly Southern China), and you can find it in many Chinese supermarkets around the world.
What does Celtuce Taste Like?
Celtuce has a fairly mild flavor with a crisp texture. It’s a much like asparagus in terms of its mild taste and crunchy texture.
How Do You Eat Celtuce?
It’s easy to eat celtuce – in fact you could even eat it raw! Just use a potato peeler to take off the outer skin on the stalk, and remove the leaves (I’ve never tried the leaves, but apparently they’re not too tasty).
Personally, I love celtuce sautéed with meats or other vegetables – you typically need some other strong flavors with celtuce since it’s so mild in taste.
Try my Ginger Apple Celtuce Stir Fry Recipe (pictured below) for a quick, easy, and delicious way of enjoying celtuce.
Nutritional Data For Celtuce
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, raw celtuce is mostly water (94.5% by weight). In 100g of celtuce (most celtuce weigh 1-2 lb), there’s 1.7g of fiber and 3.65g of total carbohydrates.
Celtuce also has a fairly high amount of vitamin C (19.5mg in 100g – compare this with 5.9mg in 100g of raw carrots and 59.1mg in 100g of raw navel orange) as well as a good amount of potassium (330mg in 100g – compare this with 358mg in 100g of raw bananas).
Have You Tried Celtuce?
So have you tried celtuce (asparagus lettuce) before? If so, did you like it?