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Stir-frying slightly mellows the unique flavor and snappy texture of celery. Here, the oft-overlooked vegetable partners perfectly with nutty sesame oil, peppery ginger and the umami notes of soy sauce and shiitake mushrooms. Chinese chili-bean sauce, or toban djan, is a spicy, salty fermented mixture of soybeans, broad beans and chilies that gives this stir-fry lots of character; it’s sold in jars in Asian grocery stores and in the international aisle of some supermarkets. If not available, use an equal amount of chili-garlic sauce; its sharper, more garlicky flavor gives the dish a slightly different, but still delicious, taste profile.
tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
tablespoon chili bean sauce (toban djan) or chili-garlic sauce (see note)
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