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Chinese celery salad - Ban qincai - 拌芹菜

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Serves 4-5 | Prep Time 20 | Cook Time 1-3

Why I Love This Recipe

This is a recipe I picked up somewhere in a book I might have borrowed once. I can't recall which book it was and how I came to borrow it, it could be from a library or a person. Or maybe a book I might have looked into at a second hand bookshop. But it was so simple and easy to remember that it stayed in my head. The dish is vegetarian, but it is also wonderful as a side dish with an Asian style barbeque or Asian meal. It's a Chinese recipe, but as for the Chinese salted soy sauce you can also use the Japanese Kikkoman or Marukin soy sauce. Doubling the quantities will make it easy into a big party dish and most of the work you can do before the guests arrive, which is very convenient. For a chinese style meal there are often a lot of dishes to prepare in a very short period of time, so being able to do something ahead reduces some of the hectic. Leftovers of the salad can simply be made into a cold lunch dish for the day after by mixing it with some cold soba noedels, nori and a bit of toasted sesame seed as garnish.

Ingredients You'll Need

500 grams blanched celery
1 qt teaspoon of salt
1,5 tablespoon of salted soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar


1 Bring water with a quarter teaspoon of salt to the boil

2 Rinse the chalks of celery and cut them into pieces of about 3 centimeter long

3 Put the celery into the boiling water and bring it to the boil again

4 Boil for 1 minute [or three if you like the celery a bit softer]

5 Drain the celery and rinse with cold water to cool it of

6 Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and a teaspoon of salt [or less if you like]

7 Put the celery in a bowl, add the mixture and toss, make sure the celery is coated with the mixture

8 Leave it to rest in the fridge or a cool place for at least half an hour, tossing it two or three times

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