Chinese celery salad is really a glorified way to eat celery that makes it more enjoyable and less "I'm eating celery because I'm on a diet". It's obvi a really great recipe for anyone that's on a diet...i.e. just about EVERYBODY. I think you know what I mean. I love making delicious desserts and cheesey fried things, but when I'm really feeling ambitious about losing weight I try to cut down my portions of these things and replace the gap with low calorie vegetables. The problem is that plain veggies get a little boring and it's hard to come up with ways to make them different without using oils and fats.
This could be a great side dish in a Chinese themed dinner with peanut chicken and noodles, but I made it for myself. All for myself. I think it may just have negative calories...meaning the effort it takes to make this and then chew and swallow burns more than the actual celery calories...I'm probably wrong. I'm only a nursing student, I don't have to be perfectly reliable on these things yet. Whether it has negative calories or only 30 calories it's damn tasty and worth the effort it takes to blanch the celery (yes, you can blanch almost anything) and whisk up the dressing ingredients. Plus, after blanching those annoying fibrous celery strings come off so easily with the peel of a knife. The celery stays slightly crunchy and you don't feel like you're just eating celery...even though you totally are. ;)
Chinese Celery Salad
1 bunch of celery
1 tbl rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
4 tbl soy sauce
couple dashes hot sauce
sesame seeds (optional)
Clean up the celery and cut each stalk in half. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes and immediatly drain and cool. Slice into bite-sized pieces on the bias and put in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients and toss with the celery. Chill.
Recipe adapted from Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn.