Celtuce, also known as aa choy sum, asparagus lettuce, or stem lettuce, is a lettuce that is grown primarily for its stem. Celtuce is crunchy, crispy, and vegetal with a refreshing flavor that is mildly bitter and nutty. This green vegetable tastes like a cross between romaine lettuce, cucumber, and almond. Sword lettuce has a similar flavor to celtuce and is cultivated for the leaves.
Uses: Always peel celtuce and cut off any oxidized (brown) edges before use as they can be tough and bitter. Slice thinly and eat raw with a simple dressing of oil and vinegar. Add it to your soups or stir-fry dishes. Try it grilled or roasted.
Celtuce stem is cultivated primarily for the stalk and the leaves are often decorative. Trim the withered leaves off and peel the outer skin to reveal the vibrantly green and refreshing center.