Categories: Eats, Life Style

Celery and Pork Stir-Fry

Hey, What’s Cookin’?

Celery is a humble mainstay of most kitchens, along with carrots and onions. Traditionally, it’s deployed as an aromatic; that is, a vegetable used as a flavor base for cooking, usually by sautéeing. It’s always in a supporting role, such as in pasta, egg, or potato salad or along with onions and garlic in a soup base, but never is a star on its own.

Celery is such a cheap and basic part of our food supply that we tend to think of it as a low-nutrient choice (just like iceberg lettuce). But celery stalks (also called ribs) are rich in cellulose, a complex carbohydrate found in the cell wall of plants that is edible but indigestible to humans. Celery is very low in calories and carbohydrate. One medium stalk contains only 6 calories and 1.2 grams of carbohydrate. Half of the carbohydrate content in celery comes from fiber, making it a good source of fiber.  Celery is also an excellent source of Vitamin K and a good source of Vitamin A, potassium, and folate.

So the Recipe of the Week features celery in a starring role, in Celery and Pork Stir-Fry.  Serve it over cauliflower “rice” and you’ll enjoy a traditional Asian dish with a bit of a twist!

Celery and Pork Stir-Fry

Adapted from: a recipe by Joy Manning via the Hartford Courant
Serves: 4


Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs Chinklang black vinegar (can substitute 1 tbs balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Stir Fry:

  • 1 tbs grapeseed oil (it has a higher smoking point than cannola or olive)
  • 4 dried chilles, crumbled (discard seeds to make it less spicy)
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 5 medium ribs (stalks) celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
  • 3 large cloves garlic; sliced thin
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 6 scallions, sliced into divided piles of white and green sections
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  • kosher salt
  • cauliflower rice; prepared and kept warm


Directions:

  1. Whisk together the water, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, corn starch and sesame oil in a bowl.
  2. Heat the grapeseed oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add the red chilles and Sichuan peppercorns; stir-fry for about 1 minute until the chilles darken slightly.
  3. Add the celery and green pepper; stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes until crisp-tender. Add the garlic, ginger, and white parts of the scallion and stir-fry an additional 1 minute until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Add the pork to the skillet and cook, breaking up the meat as you stir-fry it, about 5 minutes, until browned. Add the celery mixture back to to the pan and stir to combine.
  5. Stir the sauce and pour it over entire skillet, then mix to coat all ingredients.
  6. Taste for salt and adjust if needed, sprinkle peanuts over all, and serve over cauliflower rice.

Notes: You can substitute an equal amount of ground turkey or chicken for the pork, if you prefer.

#happyeating
#toyourhealth

JC

Photograph via G. Kosanovich for The Washington Post

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