I finally figured out a truly delicious way to serve celery root as a side dish – without boiling or mashing. The old childhood snack of celery filled with peanut butter inspired the flavors here, as I was imagining how I might turn celery root sticks into a stir-fry. I wouldn’t normally stir-fry a root, but since celery root can be eaten raw, I figured it would be a good candidate for quick cooking, too, if sliced thinly.

The dish has a generous amount of chopped roasted peanuts – don’t skimp on them as they really add great texture and flavor, especially combined with plenty of garlic and ginger, as well as a little Asian finishing sauce and cilantro. I love the scallions/green onions in this, too; cut them into 1-inch pieces on the bias so that they have some presence in the dish.

Serves 3 as a side dish

  • 1 ½ teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons water
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 3 cups thin celery root “sticks” (peel celery root, slice thinly and slice into sticks; find more info below)
  • 1 cup scallion slices (white and some green, cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces – about one large bunch)
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus cilantro sprigs for garnish if desired
  • Lime wedges


1. Have ready a small serving platter. In a small bowl, combine the tamari or soy sauce, the mirin, and the water.

2. In a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the celery root matchsticks, the scallions, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally but not constantly (spreading out in between stirs), until the celery root pieces are nicely browned (they will be somewhat shrunken and flexible), about 7 to 8 minutes.

3. Add the ginger, the garlic and all of the peanuts and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, or until the ginger and garlic are fragrant.

4. Take the pan off the heat and drizzle on the tamari-mirin mixture, stirring immediately and quickly; the pan will sizzle and sputter. Stir in the cilantro and immediately transfer all to a serving platter to stop further cooking. Serve right away with the lime wedges.


To peel celery root: I find it easiest to cut the bottom off (where the roots are gnarled), trim a small piece of the top off, and then cut the root in half across the equator. Set each half flat on your cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut the skin off (as you would cut the skin off of a whole orange), trimming spots as necessary. For this recipe, you will then want to slice each peeled half crosswise with a sharp knife into thin pieces. Stack a few pieces at a time and cut across (on a bias is nice as the pieces are a bit shorter) into thin sticks. Measure out 3 cups as you are slicing; if you don’t need to cut the whole celery root, wrap the remainder and store in fridge for another use.

Susie Middleton