Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stir-Fry Celery with Fresh Squid

Celery is rich with vitamin C, a vitamin that helps to support the immune system. Celery belongs to the same member family as carrots, parsley, fennel and dill. Here are some tips that I've found from the web, you might be interested to know how to select, store and prepare this wonderful veggie.

How to select :
  • Choose celery that looks crisp and snaps easily when pulled apart. It should be relatively tight and compact and not have stalks that splay out.
  • The leaves should be pale to bright green in colour and free from yellow or brown patches. Sometimes celery can have a condition called "blackheart", which is caused by insects. To check for damage, separate the stalks and look for brown or black discoloration.
  • In addition, evaluate the celery to ensure that it does not have a seedstem - the presence of a round stem in the place of the smaller tender stalks that should reside in the center of the celery. Celery with seedstems are often more bitter in flavour.

How to store :

  • To store celery, place it in a sealed container or wrap it in a plastic bag or damp cloth and store it in the refrigerator. If you are storing cut or peeled celery, ensure that is is dry and free from water residue, as this can drain some of its nutrients.
  • Freezing will make celery wilt and should be avoided unless you will be using it in a future cooked recipe.

How to prepare :

  • To clean celery, cut off the base and leaves, then wash the leaves and stalks under running water.
  • Cut the stalks into pieces of desired length. If the outside of the celery stalk has fibrous strings, remove them by making a thin cut into one end of the stalk and peeling away the fibers.
  • Be sure to use the leaves - they contain the most vitamin C, calcium and potassium - but use them within a day or two as they do not store very well.
  • Celery should not be kept at room temperature for too long since, because of its high water content, it has a tendency to wilt quickly. If you have celery that has wilted, sprinkle it with a little water and place it in the refrigerator for several hours where it will regain its crispness.

Celery is really a versatile veggie, suitable in stir-fries, soups, stews and absolutely delicious eaten raw in salads and dips. A stalk or two of celery in a pot of soup, stock or stew, really makes a big difference. It is extremely full of flavour, not to mention it's nice fragrant aroma. 

This is another Chinese stir-fry dish that I really enjoy. The celery and the squids are cooked separately and then combined in the final stir-fry, as the squids will get tough when overcooked.  If you are like me, as I love stir-fry vegetables where they remain crisp and fresh, then try this dish. 

Stir-Fry Celery with Fresh Squids
3 medium squids, cleaned and cut into rings
3 stalks of celery, sliced to about 3mm thickness on the diagonal
1 small carrot, cut to half lengthwise and sliced to 3mm thickness on the diagonal
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp cooking oil
salt to taste
dash of white pepper
1/2 tsp chicken powder seasoning

  1. Heat about 1 tbsp oil and saute half of the minced garlic till light brown and fragrant. Add in the celery and carrots, about 2 tbsp water, stir, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until vegetable is cooked but still remain crunchy. Dish out and keep aside.
  2. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil and saute remaining minced garlic till light brown and fragrant. Add in the squids, stir for about a minute and add in the celery and carrots, water, salt, chicken powder seasoning and pepper to taste. 
  3. Keep on stirring for about 3 more minutes until squid is cooked and tender. Do not overcook squid. Dish out and enjoy with plain white rice.


  1. Joy, your stir fry celery looks like spring time! Love celery, thanks for all the info.

  2. I just love celery! This stir fry makes me hungry on the spot!!! :D

  3. Joy, your dishes always make me hungry! This dish is no beautiful.

  4. It looks so fresh and tempting, and yes I agree with Melynda, it looks like spring time!
    Being new to you site I'm going to read about your Cranberry Orange Chiffon Cake! DeeBee :)

  5. Great looking stirfry, completely new for me..

  6. Hi Joy,
    I am so happy that you brought such a special dish to Full Plate Thursday, I can't wait to get it on my plate and give it a try. Thank you so much for coming today and please come back!

  7. I just told my husband yesterday that I wish I could find some good squid! Looks delicious!

  8. this is a really fresh celery, looks so green! will also cook this once in a while with cuttlefish, simple and tasty!

  9. The colors of your dish are amazing. I'm tempted to try this but I have trouble cooking squid. Mine is always tough and a real challenge to chew. Perhaps I'll have better luck with your recipe. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  10. It sure makes a pretty presentation.

  11. Looks delicious! I am glad I found your YUMMY blog! I host a new food linky called, Fun w/ Food Friday. I would LOVE for you to come by and link up some of your DELICIOUS recipes if you have time.

  12. It looks great and my hubby would love it. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Hi friends,
    Thank you for all your lovely words. Wishing all of you a lovely weekend!

  14. I have read your blog first time. But I know that I am becoming fellow even I can't almost understand :(
    Best wishes from Ankara Türkiye-Turkey

  15. Hi Munise,
    Thank you for visiting my blog! I really appreciate it. It is really nice to have someone all the way from Turkey. Do you have a blog that I can visit? Have a lovely weekend.

  16. I love this dish and cook it sometimes with salted black beans. Very appetizing dish!

  17. This looks so pretty and sounds so healthy.

  18. Esta ensalada se ve riquísima una tentación de colores es ve mágica me encanta,cariños amiga que tengas muchas bendiciones cada día ,besos.

  19. This looks really nice. I think this is perfect for my mother because she's requesting to me to cook a stir fry for her when she visit in my house next week. I think this is suitable for her taste because she really like eating squid.

    Beef Stir Fry