Celtuce Cucumber Salad

July 02, 2020

Celtuce, also known as stem or asparagus lettuce, is a variety of lettuce grown for its long, tender stalks. Once its tough outer skin is peeled away, its stem can be used a variety of ways both raw, marinated and cooked. Its bitter leaves can be eaten too, best tossed into stir-fries. It’s rare to find Celtuce outside of Chinatown, especially grown organically and locally in the Northeast. That’s why we love cherishing this unique vegetable once it comes into season and shows up in a Local Roots share. 


4 stalks of celtuce
1 cucumber
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp sesame oil
½ tsp chili oil
Fried garlic
Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and crushed (optional)


  1. Wash the celtuce. Separate the celtuce stem from its tops. Peel the skin from its stem.
  2. Boil water with a touch of salt. Prepare a bowl of ice water.
  3. Blanch the celtuce stems for 1 minute and leaves for 10 seconds separately. Dunk them in ice cold water to stop them from cooking and preserve their green color.
  4. Cut the celtuce stems into small, thin ½” pieces. Cut the cucumber in the same size. Mix them in a bowl together.
  5. Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and sichuan peppercorn together until the sugar dissolves. 
  6. Pour over the celtuce and cucumber and mix well.
  7. With a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, pulse / crush sesame with salt to make gomasio.
  8. Plate the celtuce and cucumber, top with chili oil, gomasio, fried garlic. 

Recipe by Local Roots team member Phoebe Tran.

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