Celtuce (AKA Asparagus Lettuce): Benefits & Ways to Eat It

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Last Updated on May 20, 2024

Celtuce is a lesser-known leafy green vegetable with a bunch of health benefits and a unique taste and texture. Learn everything you need to know about celtuce, including various ways you can add it to your diet. 



Have you ever heard of celtuce? Don’t worry, many people haven’t. This interesting type of lettuce is often mistaken for romaine lettuce or celery due to its similar appearance.

We will explore its origins, health benefits, and how you can incorporate it into your daily meals.

What is Celtuce?

Celtuce is not your typical leafy green vegetable. It’s also known as stem lettuce or asparagus lettuce because it stands tall with a thick, edible stem that’s full of vitamins and minerals.


Origins of Celtuce

This interesting plant is native to China and has been cultivated there for over 1500 years. In fact, its name in Chinese, woju, translates to sleeping vegetable.

It was during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) that celtuce first began to make its mark in Chinese cuisine. The vegetable was valued for its crisp texture and refreshing taste, which made it a great addition to traditional Chinese dishes.

Fast forward to the 19th century, when celtuce started making its way around the globe. The green arrived in Europe and America where it was initially grown as an ornamental plant due to its tall and striking appearance.

However, it didn’t take long before people realized that this beautiful plant was not only pleasing to the eye but also tasty and nutritious.

Celtuce Taste and Texture

Celtuce is like a cross between celery and lettuce with a hint of nuttiness. It has a refreshingly crisp flavor that’s mildly sweet with a slight hint of bitterness. 

The texture of celtuce stems is a fusion between celery and broccoli stalks – crisp and refreshing!

Raw celtuce has an appealing crunch similar to that of romaine lettuce. But when it’s cooked, it transforms into something soft and tender, much like zucchini. 

Celtuce Nutrition

Not only is celtuce delicious, but it’s also packed with nutrients.

  • Vitamins: Celtuce is rich in essential vitamins like Vitamin A and Vitamin C. 
  • Minerals: This leafy green is an excellent source of vital minerals including potassium and iron. 
  • Antioxidants: Celtuce contains powerful antioxidants such as beta-carotene, which can help protect your body from harmful free radicals. 
  • Dietary Fiber: A great source of dietary fiber, celtuce aids in digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness, assisting in weight management.
  • Low Calorie Content: Celtuce is low in calories! This makes it an excellent addition to your meals if you’re watching your calorie intake.

Health Benefits of Celtuce

Including celtuce in your diet can be beneficial for your health. Its high fiber content aids digestion while vitamin C boosts your immune system. Plus, the potassium in celtuce helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

Check out these health benefits of celtuce:

Rich in Nutrients

Celtuce is packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system and keeps your skin glowing.

May Help Lower Blood Pressure

This crunchy veggie is rich in potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure levels. 

Aids Digestion

Thanks to its dietary fiber content, celtuce aids in digestion by adding bulk to your diet and preventing constipation.

Supports Bone Health

Celtuce contains vitamin K which is crucial for bone health. 

Aids Weight Management

Low in calories yet high in fiber, celtuce can help you feel full without overloading on calories – perfect for those aiming for weight loss or management!

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Promotes Eye Health

Packed with beta-carotene, which our bodies convert into vitamin A, celtuce can support good vision and eye health.


Celtuce is abundant in antioxidants that fight off harmful free radicals in the body, reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Boosts Energy Levels

The iron content in celtuce can help boost energy levels by improving oxygen distribution throughout the body.

Improves Skin Health

The nutrients in celtuce contribute to healthy skin by promoting cell growth and repair, giving you a natural glow.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

The flavonoids in celtuce have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body.

Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

The fiber in celtuce slows down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream, helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Supports Mental Health

Folate found in celtuce supports brain function and mental health by aiding in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness.

Promotes Heart Health

Celtuce is a source of dietary fiber which helps lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Boosts Immunity

The high vitamin C content in celtuce strengthens your immune system, helping your body fight off infections. 

Promotes Hydration

With its high water content, celtuce helps keep you hydrated, essential for overall health and well-being.

celtuce stalks

Where to Find Celtuce

Your local Asian market is the perfect place to find it, especially during late summer when it’s at its peak. If there’s no Asian store nearby, check out the international section of your grocery store.

If you grow your own celtuce, just remember that the larger the stems grow, the more bitter and woody they will taste. They are best when young and tender. 

How to Prepare 

If it’s your first time preparing celtuce, don’t worry – it’s simple! All you need is a vegetable peeler to remove the outer layer of the stem. Then cut it into slices or sticks depending on your recipe.

How to Store

To keep your celtuce fresh, wrap it in a damp paper towel and store it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. It should stay fresh for up to a week!

Ways to Eat Celtuce

  • Sautéed Celtuce: Just toss some chopped celtuce in a pan with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, and your favorite spices. 
  • Raw Celtuce Salad: Slice celtuce into thin strips and mix it with other salad greens for a crunchy texture. Drizzle it with a homemade vinaigrette and you’ve got yourself a refreshing meal.
  • Celtuce Soup: Simmering celtuce in a broth with other veggies is an excellent way to warm up on chilly days. You’ll love the mild, slightly sweet flavor it adds to your soup.
  • Grilled Celtuce: A touch of char can bring out the unique flavors of celtuce. Just brush it with some olive oil, sprinkle some salt, and grill until tender over a high heat.
  • Pickled Celtuce: Want something tangy? Try pickling your celtuce! This method gives it a sharp flavor that pairs well with sandwiches or as part of a cheese platter.
  • Celtuce Juice: If you’re into juicing, add some celtuce to your next blend. Like kale juice, it’s a great way to pack in extra nutrients and enjoy a different taste.
  • Baked Celtuce Chips: Thinly slice your celtuce, toss it in olive oil, sprinkle some salt and bake until crispy. 
  • Stuffed Celtuce Leaves: Use the large leaves of celtuce to wrap around fillings like rice, meat, or other veggies. 
  • Celtuce Pesto: Blend celtuce with some basil, garlic, pine nuts, and olive oil for a unique take on traditional pesto. 

FAQ About Celtuce

Have more questions about celtuce? Here’s what people wonder the most: 

Can you eat celtuce raw?

Yes, you can eat celtuce raw. The crisp texture and subtle sweetness of raw celtuce make it an excellent addition to salads.

What is another name for celtuce?

Celtuce goes by several names including stem lettuce, asparagus lettuce, and celery lettuce.

Is celtuce related to celery?

While they share some similarities in taste and texture, celtuce and celery are different plants. Celtuce is a type of lettuce, not a celery variant.

Are celtuce leaves edible?

Yes, celtuce leaves can also be eaten. While the thick stems are the star of the show, the leaves are also edible. They’re perfect for wilting or adding to soups! It can be difficult to find them fresh and crisp unless you grow them by yourself though. 

Final Thoughts

Celtuce is more than just another leafy green. Its unique taste profile and impressive nutritional value make it a worthy addition to any meal plan.

Whether used raw in salads or cooked in soups, this vegetable offers plenty of options for those looking to diversify their diet. Don’t let its unfamiliarity deter you; instead, embrace the opportunity to discover something new.

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