Celery & Scallions in Black Bean Sauce with Orange Honey Glazed Walnuts

By • March 12, 2012 8 Comments

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Author Notes: This is based on my favorite dish in all of Chinatown, NYC--from Dim Sum GoGo on Chatham Square. It is a big platter of sauteed chinese celery and chives, garnished with shiny, sweet, roasted walnuts.

I adapted this recipe so that it can be made with the more widely available American celery, which has thicker stalks, and American scallions, which are also thicker--but are more reminiscent of the flavor of Chinese chives. (American chives are too delicate for this dish). The celery in this recipe is cut into sticks, to mimic the smaller Chinese celery stalks.

Ever since the day I stumbled upon fermented black beans in an Asian grocery store, it has been one of my favorite ingredients. They have all the stinky goodness of nutritional yeast (which most vegans are hooked on). It is the same thing that hooks other people on blue cheese, or fish sauce. They add a lot of flavor to this dish. I wanted all the freshness of the original version of this dish, but with a little extra oompf. The black beans more than deliver that!

Serves 4

Celery & Scallions in Black Bean Sauce

  • 1 bunch celery, cut into 2" sticks
  • 2 bunches scallions, cut into 2" sections*
  • 1 2" long piece of ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup white wine, or sake
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil (or other high heat cooking oil)
  • 3 tablespoons fermented black beans (available at Asian markets)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon each, cumin and coriander
  • 1 pinch chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, to garnish
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Place a pan over high heat. When it is hot, add 2 tbp. oil and let it get nice and hot. Add the celery and stir fry with a pinch of salt until tender, but not wilted. Remove to a bowl and repeat process with the scallions. Add to celery in bowl. (The trick to high-heat cooking is to get a little char on them, to bring out the flavor, but to leave them a little raw on the inside because they will continue to cook from residual heat after being removed from the pan. You want them to keep some crunch.)
  2. Place the pan back on the heat and add the last 2 tbp canola oil. Saute the garlic and ginger. Add the black beans and continue to cook about 2 minutes. Add the white wine, honey, sesame oil and spices. Cook off alcohol and season to taste.
  3. Trasfer black bean mixture to a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour over the celery and chives and toss to coat.
  4. Serve over rice, garnished with sesame seeds, the glazed walnuts, and chopped celery leaves.

Orange Honey Glazed Walnuts

  • 1 cup walnut halves or pieces
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 small orange, zest and juice (about 1/4 c)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  1. Combine the honey, orange zest, juice and salt.
  2. Toast the walnuts in a pan set over low heat. When they begin to color, turn the heat up slightly and add the honey mixture.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until the liquid has reduced and walnuts are coated in thick syrup. Transfer walnuts to silpat-lined baking sheet to cool. (Alternately, you can use a lightly greased baking sheet.)

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Entrees

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