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Zeppa

Celtuce at Tesco (UK)

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Zeppa

I was surprised to find celtuce at Tesco's. Grown in Spain. It was much better than the imported celtuce at See Woo in Lisle Street, which never had the leaves on the top and was simply too old. 

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abcdefg

That's great, @Zeppa -- Now you're all set. I use this vegetable a lot here. It has such a pleasant, gentle flavor. Combines well with other more "forward" tastes. Here's one recipe from last year. 

 

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/54904-chinese-stem-lettuce-莴笋炒豆腐/ 

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ChTTay

I’m not a fan at all! But I’m hoping there are more and more Chinese greens in U.K. shops.

 

What are the leaves on top of a celtuce? My girlfriend seems to think 油麦菜 but I’m not sure. 

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abcdefg
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What are the leaves on top of a celtuce? My girlfriend seems to think 油麦菜 but I’m not sure. 

 

Bingo, your girlfriend is right! (Aren't they always? Mine has never been wrong a single time in her entire life.)

 

The whole thing together is usually called 莴笋 wo sun. Sometimes that name is used for the stem. 

 

These leaves are good eating too, as well as the stem part of the plant. I generally cook both parts together, but give the stem slices a head start. 

 

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Zeppa

Thanks very much, abcdefg. I would like to try the recipe but this celtuce acquisition is going to be a one-off - I can't rely on ever getting it again (except the old stuff in Chinatown). Meanwhile I have some but I have no tofu and not sure where to get it locally. I think some supermarkets do it but I can't think where they would put it. I can't go up to Chinatown every day. I tried to do 回锅肉 and I put some in there. If I can get tofu today I could do the recipe while the celtuce is still fresh. I even have some MSG. 

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DavyJonesLocker

What is a Celtuce? Is it Chinese origin?

I never seen it in UK or China, shows how observant I am!:D

Zeppa, Do you mean the see woo in Chinatown London . Thought that place is pretty expensive? There is a fairly big Chinese supermarket on edgeware road called wing yip (near staples corner) which is not bad.

 

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abcdefg
42 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

What is a Celtuce? Is it Chinese origin?

 

It's an odd English name for wo sun 莴笋。Sometimes called "stem lettuce." It's not common in the west. Here is some information about it:

 

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/54904-chinese-stem-lettuce-莴笋炒豆腐/ 

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DavyJonesLocker

Cheers @abcdefg

Good posts. I think the tofu recipie you went through looks great. Might even be within my dire cooking abilities. 

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amytheorangutan

I also never seen this vegetable, probably never paid any attention. Might visit my local Tesco and see if I can find any. I normally go to Loon Fung and the one opposite it in Chinatown for my day to day shopping and very occasionally See Woo. I've heard of Wing Yip but it's just too far away for people working in central London and not living in the area. Happened to have a packet of smoked tofu and capsicums at home.

 

Do you use oyster sauce much in your cooking @abcdefg? I feel like I put it in everything nowadays :lol:

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ChTTay

油麦菜 is great. 

 

Use the Celtuce to grow some. Agree Celtuce is a weird name. Tesco should just call it “Chinese [something]” :lol:

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Shelley

How about Chinese lettuce? Celtuce is almost like a mashup of that, or is there already something called that?

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abcdefg
54 minutes ago, ChTTay said:

Agree Celtuce is a weird name. Tesco should just call it “Chinese [something]”

 

I think "Chinese stem lettuce" is a much better name, partly because it's descriptive. ("Chinese lettuce" wouldn't really get the job done, since there are several kinds of lettuce that are popular here.) 

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abcdefg
3 hours ago, amytheorangutan said:

Do you use oyster sauce much in your cooking @abcdefg? I feel like I put it in everything nowadays

 

I use it sometimes, Amy. Yesterday I used it in making a simple sauteed tofu dish. It's something I make, with variations, every week or so. 

 

5aec4106ddfe6_IMG_20180430_173828_1-55.thumb.jpg.e483940c9248964ccb0e65ee4d266609.jpg5aec410a8ddb1_IMG_20180430_175019_1-55.thumb.jpg.54d9d9ea080cf106055015a3242df606.jpg

 

 

 

Lightly brown the tofu on both sides. Take it out and set it aside. Yesterday I then sauteed a ripe tomato and a large spring onion 大葱。Added equal parts oyster sauce and ketchup to the pan with a splash of water. Add back the cooked tofu and stir it around until heated through and well sauced. 

 

Often I substitute hoisin sauce 海鲜酱 for the oyster sauce 蚝油。Can add the ketchup or omit it. Light sprinkle of salt while it's all still in the pan. Often just use spring onion alone. It's a nice flavor with the tofu; they are a traditional combination. 

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DavyJonesLocker

Those look great and easy abcdefg. I must look through your wealth of information on this forum. I tried and failed at Chinese cooking several times because half the words I couldn't recognise nor where to find them in the supermarket. 

 

Just back from the supermarket with 50 packets of dry powdered spices. Back to China on Sunday so stocking up :wink: Not an ideal way to live on China I admit. I like eating out but the health aspect is always a concern for me. 

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abcdefg
12 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I like eating out but the health aspect is always a concern for me. 

 

Agree. That's one of the main reasons I cook at home a good deal of the time. 

 

Once you get back to China, @Davey, if you want to try some simple dishes at home, some of us here will be glad to make recommendations and talk you through the process of finding suitable ingredients and preparing them.

 

Being able to sometimes cook at home opens up lot of new possibilities for learning about the culture and integrating yourself into local society. You'd be surprised what a great conversation starter it is to ask someone on the train their family secrets for making good red cooked pork/hong shao rou 红烧肉 or some such popular dish.  

 

Or "I found this at the market yesterday, it was inexpensive and fresh. But I have no idea what to do with it?" (Show a snapshot on your phone.) 

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Zeppa

I agree that stem lettuce is the best name, but celtuce has become usual. It's a combination of 'celery' and 'lettuce'. 'Chinese lettuce' rather leaves out the stem. Amy, I found it at Tesco in Romford, Gallows Corner, and don't expect to see it again. They have it as big sticks at See Woo in Lisle Street, sort of behind Loon Fung, well worth a visit, but the celtuce there has no leaves left and is older than what I get. Their vegetable selection is really good. (Later note: sorry, I see you already know See Woo). There is also a very small vegetable shop in Dansey Place, near Gerrard Street, which at least at once time got locally grown Chinese vegetables.

 

I was interested in it because one of my Chinese teachers said it was the one vegetable she missed most. I tried to grow it once - it should be easy, but the slugs got it first. 

 

I did get some tofu, so I will try out the dish while I still have some 'celtuce' left. I went to Whitechapel to buy Alphonso mangos and found a very nice little Chinese supermarket called China Ark. 

https://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/chinaark-supermarket-london?hrid=5priCjAhQtugsQi6YLXjig&osq=oriental+supermarket

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Zeppa

I'm glad I tried that. It was delicious. The tofu and celtuce offset each other really well. But I may be eating too much. 

I'm not quite alone here, but the other resident has been catching and eating mice all week.

 

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LiMo

@Zeppa

 

Since you were in Romford I take it you live out East somewhere. There's a new (opened in the last decade I think) Long Feng Chinese supermarket in the Stratford Centre if that's at all convenient. It's loser than Whitechapel I imagine, although I don't know how it measures up to China Ark.

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Zeppa

@LiMo

Thanks. Yes, a Loon Fung in Stratford. I know it. I wanted to take photos at Whitechapel Market, and I knew I could get Alphonso mangos there. But a villain sold me Kesar - which are actually not bad at all, but he swore they were Alphonso and I couldn't see the name on the box till I got home. 

I am in Upminster. We do have direct trains to Stratford on Saturdays, but it's actually simpler to go to Whitechapel. 

The China Ark is just a very small place and extremely good of its kind, but I would not risk getting particular ingredients there. 

Tesco at Gallows Corner is somewhere I go by car.

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LiMo

Ah, you're better travelled than I. I've only just discovered it but inferred it's age from the last time I really went in to the Stratford Centre. Despite being slightly unscrupulous at times I imagine market sellers are often cheaper, no? At any rate I'll take a peek inside China Ark when I'm around there next time. Thanks for the recommendation.

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