Today's dish is "Glazed Celery and Fake Crab." It's easy and cheap to make, but seems sort of vaguely Chinese-ish and frankly looks festive. The fun is that the crab is fake, and that the dish is not really "glazed" in a technical sense. It's a low-calorie simulation!
I make this with leftover salad ingredients. If you have more celery than you can get away with putting into your salad, this is something you can do with it.
The first step is to wash the celery and slice it at an angle so that it looks like it could be part of a dish served in a Chinese restaurant.
Cut each fake crab stick into three. You probably could use real crab, but I actually prefer the imitation.
Both go into the skillet. At this stage it's a good idea to add the minced ginger and the spices (Chinese five spice, black pepper, Okinawan stir-fry mix [this magic powder makes everything taste better!] if you can get it), and the arrowroot powder and cooking wine that you are going to use to simulate the glaze.
Lightly boil all of the ingredients on medium heat for a couple of minutes, excluding the arrowroot powder and cooking wine. While this is happening put some arrowroot powder into a mixing cup and add cooking wine.
Stir the mixture well until the arrowroot powder is suspended into the cooking wine, and then add it to the skillet. This is your cue to turn down the heat and keep stirring the mixture.
If you don't, you will get clumps of congealed "glaze," which is not exactly yummy. This dish is best served hot for the same reason. It's done when the consistency vaguely reminds you of that of similar dishes at your neighborhood Chinese restaurant.
This is a dish that seems vaguely Chinese but is easy to make and does not require exotic ingredients. Also, unlike the real thing, there is no oil involved, so it's low-calorie. There is no reason why you can't "glaze" any other vegetables or seafood you like. Chicken and cashews, even. Get that Chinese look and consistency without the calories!
If you have made a nice big salad but something still seems missing from your table, this little number makes a great side dish!