Spicy tofu and celery salad

celery with silken tofu and spicy chili oil

This is a smoky and nutty tofu and celery salad so full of flavor it’s the perfect side to a steaming white bowl of rice!


  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 1 inch ginger (sliced into thin strips)
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns (or 1 teaspoon chinese pepper)
  • 3 tablespoons red chili flakes
  • 3 stalks celery (thinly sliced)
  • 4 ounce firm tofu (drained, dried and thinly sliced )
  • soy sauce (to taste)
  • salt (to taste)


  1. Wrap tofu with a towel or paper towel to soak up excess water. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; when it simmers, add ginger, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, star anise, Sichuan peppercorns and chili flakes. Remove from heat and let sit until cool, at least 1 hour
  3. Strain oil into a bowl or jar and discard spices. Put a pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add celery and blanch for about a minute; drain in colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  4. Layer celery and tofu on serving plates, drizzle with chili oil and sprinkle with salt and/or a dash of soy sauce.


Keywords: recipe, vegetarian, vegan, Asian, appetizer, side

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