Stir Fry Squid with Chinese Celery – Muc Xao voi Rau Can Tau

This recipe for my sweet and sour stir fry squid with Chinese celery reminds me of my mom’s home-style stir fry version.  Only, mom normally would use tomatoes or pineapples, but I like to use both for the colorfulness and flavors.

  • prepping & cooking time: 30 minutes total
  • serving size: 10-inch stir fry non-stick pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb package of frozen little squids or about 2 medium size squids
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh chunky pineapples
  • 1 to 2 bunches of Chinese celery
  • 1/2 cup scallion
  • 1 medium white/yellow onion bulb
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch + 2 Tbsp water
  • ******Stir Fry Sauce:
  • 1.5 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 Tbsp Aji Mirin sweet rice wine
  • 1 tsp minced garlic or garlic powder to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • ginger powder to taste (optional)

Direction:

1.  Mix the stir fry sauce ingredients together in a little bowl.  (Chef Grace shake in the ginger powder, garlic salt powder, and black pepper as she counted to three seconds.)   

In another bowl, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 Tbsp of water. Mix well.  (You’ll need to stir this mixture up before you add it into the pan later.)


2.  Prep your Chinese celery cutting off the end to separate the stems.  Then I snap the stems with my fingers into 3 inches long segments. Wash and put it in a strainer.  


Note: Chinese celery can be found at any Chinese/Vietnamese markets.  The comes in a bunch bagged up.  When choosing Chinese celery, bend the stalk or bunch in half.  If the stems break off, it’s a good bunch.  If the stems flex like a flexi straw, it means the leaves and stems would be very chewy.  I only cook with Chinese celery whenever I find a good bunch.  

3. Cut the pineapples into chunks.  Peel and sliced the pineapples. Chop the scallions.  Cut the squids into thirds, rinse, and rub with a pinch of salt. 


Get ready to cook!  Little chef today asked, “Mama, can I do the stir frying today for you?”   Uhh…I don’t think so! 


1.  Heat up pan with 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil.  When pan is hot, toss in the fresh pineapples. Stir fry for 30 seconds.


2.  Toss in the squids and cook for another 30 seconds.


3.  Toss in the Chinese celery.


4.  Immediately, add the stir fry sauce mixture in. Cook for 30 seconds minute. 


5.  Add the onion, scallion, and tomatoes. Cook for a few seconds. 


6. Pour in the cornstarch mixture. 
Stir lightly until sauce thickens. Remove pan from heat and transfer to plate. Serve with rice. Enjoy! 


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