I’ve been a celery-lover my whole life, and I’ve long been of the opinion that my green-stemmed friend doesn’t get the respect it deserves. I think this recipe has the potential to convert the masses to Team Celery. Perfect for a weeknight meal, this quick and healthy stir fry can be whipped up in 30 minutes and tastes amazing. This stir fry can also easily be made vegan by using tofu instead of chicken, and gluten-free by using tamari instead of soy sauce. Either way, I consider the celery to be the star of the dish; it adds amazing crunch and its freshness cuts through the acidity of the sauce perfectly.
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 1-inch knob of ginger
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or half of a block of tofu
- 3 celery stalks
- 2 large carrots
- 3 green onions
- 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper
- 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sesame seeds
- Sriracha Sauce
- Put the chicken in the freezer while you prepare the sauce. Combine the tamari/soy sauce, rice vinegar, water and sugar in a small bowl. Then, using a microplane, grate the garlic and the ginger into the sauce. If you don’t have a microplane, very finely mince them instead. Add the cornstarch, then whisk together and set aside.
- Prepare the vegetables. Cut the celery lengthwise in half, and then chop into ¼ inch wide pieces. Cut the carrots in half horizontally, and then slice lengthwise into thin strips. Thinly slice the green onion, setting aside some of the green ends for garnish later. Dice the pepper into small pieces. If you don’t like spice, make sure to remove the seeds. Put all of the vegetables aside.
- Remove the chicken from the freezer. It should be slightly stiff, making it easier to cut into 1 to ½ inch cubes. Season lightly with salt.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and let it cook without stirring for 5 minutes, until a nice golden-brown crust forms. Stir and let cook for another 2-3 minutes, then remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the extra 1 teaspoon of oil to the same pan and add your vegetables, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper and cook until the carrots start to soften, around 3 minutes. Add the chicken back in and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Whisk your sauce again to make sure it’s combined, then pour into the pan. The sauce will start to thicken immediately, so stir constantly to make sure it’s evenly distributed. Turn heat off after the sauce gets thick and continue to stir.
- Serve in a bowl by itself or on top of rice. Garnish with green onions, sesame seeds and optionally, Sriracha sauce. Enjoy!
This is a perfect dish for a weeknight, with bold flavors and fantastic textures. Once all of the vegetables are prepared, the dish should only take around 15 minutes! Delicious, quick and versatile, this celery chicken stir fry makes for a great arrow in your quick weeknight dinner quiver.