Hot Flash Celery Salad
This easy celery salad reminded me that one of the hardest things to overcome as a dude who thinks about food a lot is the battle of over-complication. It’s almost too easy to try to toss in an extra ingredient because you know it’s doing well on Pinterest or use some fancy technique you saw on Instagram.
Then occasionally, luckily, I get smacked back to reality and get reminded that in many cases doing as little as possible to an ingredient can make it really shine.
I first had a celery salad similar to this one a few weeks ago. I think that version was actually even simpler. I kept going back… reaching into the bowl… sneaking thin planks of slightly crispy and very savory celery.
Celery isn’t a sexy ingredient, but this celery salad is about the best that celery can be. I call it my Hot Flash Celery Salad because it has a little spice to it and just barely touches a blazing hot pan!
1) Slice celery into long thin strips, about 3-4 inches long. 2) In a medium bowl stir together oil, vinegar, ginger, salt, and sugar.
3) Toss celery and diced pepper into the oil mixture and toss to combine well and coat the celery.
4) Heat a large, sturdy skillet or wok over high heat. Once hot, add celery and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
5) After celery is flash cooked, remove from pan immediately.
Taste salad and adjust seasoning as needed. It might need an extra dash of salt or splash of vinegar.
Serve salad warm or chill and sold cold!
1) Slice celery into long thin strips, about 3-4 inches long.
2) In a medium bowl stir together oil, vinegar, ginger, salt, and sugar.
Hot Flash Celery Salad
Obviously you need a lot of celery for this recipe. A big bunch of it will do the trick. Trim off the ends and wash it really well.
The method for chopping the celery is kind of awkward, but easy once you get the hang of it. You want to slice the celery at a very slight angle so each piece cuts through the strands of the celery.
You should end up with about 4-inch slices.
They don’t all have to be the same. Don’t worry about it too much. Some difference in size will mean different textures in the final salad which is nice.
The rest of the ingredients in this quick celery salad are pretty basic. You need a neutral oil, some vinegar, salt, sugar, and a good amount of fresh ginger. I like to grate it so the ginger almost dissolves into the salad.
Stir that all together and toss in the celery and a minced red chili pepper. If you want it really spicy you could add a bird chili pepper, but I kept it a bit mild with a red jalapeno pepper.
The Hot Flash Cook
The death of this dish would be to let it sit in a hot pan for a long time.
And by a long time I mean like longer than three minutes. Celery breaks down really quickly to heat and it’ll turn soggy quickly if it gets too hot.
But, you do want to blast it with some heat to soften the edges and mix the flavors. So heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. When the pan is really hot, toss everything in and stir it like crazy while it cooks.
It should cook for 1-2 minutes max.
Scoop the celery out of the pan and it’s ready to go! I recommend tasting it, as always, and adjusting any seasoning to your liking. It might benefit from an extra pinch of salt or splash of vinegar.
This celery salad is great right out of the pan but it’s also very delicious if you serve it chilled!
A reminder that sometimes simple is best… true for many things, but definitely true for celery!