Protein and fibre: pork and celery Cretan-Thai style

Pork and celery is a traditional dish in Crete. It is an autumn favorite and I have great memories of the delightful smell of this dish from my childhood. It is also a great dish for people following the Atkins diet since it is composed by protein and vegetables.

Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • 1 pork tenderloin (it can be replaced by an equivalent part of veal)
  • 150 gr of pork meat on the bone (it can be replaced by an equivalent part of veal)
  • 500 gr celery
  • a large onion chopped in big chunks
  • 5-7 kaffir leaves
  • 2 stocks of lemongrass
  • 5cm of galangal
  • lemon and/or lime juice
  • extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • salt


  • Put the meat in a large bowl with water and let it rest for 30 minutes to an 1 hour in the fridge. In this way the impurities of the meat will disappear.
  • Boil the celery for 40 minutes. Keep the juice.
  • Take the meat out of the fridge and dry it. Leave the tenderloin in one piece in order to permit the meat to keep all of its juices during the cooking.
  • In a large heavy bottom pan put some oil and saute the meat in high heat with the onion.
  • When the meat is cooked in all sides add the celery juice.
  • Keep the fire high for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the boiled celery sticks.
  • With the back of a heavy knife bit the lemongrass in order to release its aroma.
  • Add the tom yam spices (lemongrass, galangal, kaffir leaves) in  disposable tea bags that you can discard easily from your pan.
  • Turn the hit to low. Discard the tea bags after 20 minutes, otherwise the herbs will give an unpleasant bitterness to the dish.
  • Cook in total for 1h-1h30 until the celery is soft.


Serve with a generous amount of lemon or lime juice and extra virgin Greek olive oil.

Enjoy 🙂


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