Recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman

Celery and Tofu Salad

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr 30 min
  • Cook: 5 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 cup peanut oil

1 (2-inch long) piece fresh ginger, cut into 3 or 4 slices

1 (3-inch long) piece cinnamon

3 cloves

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

4 star anise

1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns

1/4 cup red chili flakes


1 bunch Chinese celery, thinly sliced

4 to 6 ounces pressed tofu, thinly sliced or julienned


  1. 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 and preferably 2 or 3. Strain oil into a bowl or jar and discard spices.
  2. 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.
  3. Layer celery and tofu on serving plates, drizzle with chili oil and sprinkle with salt.