Spicy Warm Silken Tofu with Celery and Cilantro Salad

Spicy Warm Silken Tofu with Celery and Cilantro Salad

five-minute light meal 

From our friends at Serious Eats

Spicy dressed tofu is a five-minute light meal or appetizer, fragrant with chili oil, vinegar, and Sichuan peppercorn.

Note: Chinkiang vinegar, broad bean paste, and chili oil can all be found readily in Asian grocers.


·         YIELD: serves 2 to 4 as an appetizer

·         ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes

·         TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes



·         1 stalk celery, cut into thin 2-inch matchsticks

·         1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

·         3 whole scallions, sliced into thin slicers at an acute bias

·         1/2 teaspoon toasted sichuan peppercorns

·         1/2 teaspoon toasted whole cumin seed

·         1 tablespoon sesame paste (such as tahini), or peanut butter

·         1 teaspoon soy sauce

·         2 teaspoons Chinkiang vinegar (see note)

·         2 teaspoons fermented chili broad bean paste (see note)

·         2 teaspoons sugar

·         1/4 cup Chinese roasted chili oil (see note)

·         1 medium clove garlic, finely minced (about 1 teaspoon)

·         1 (19-ounce) block soft silken tofu

·         1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds




1.       Combine celery, cilantro, and scallions in a medium bowl and cover with ice cold water. Add 4 to 5 ice cubes and set aside.

2.      Combine peppercorns and cumin in a mortar and pestle and roughly grind. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add sesame paste, soy sauce, vinegar, chili bean paste, sugar, chili oil, and garlic. Whisk to combine and set aside.

3.      Spoon tofu into a serving bowl and microwave until barely warmed through, about 1 minute. Cover with dressing. Drain celery, cilantro, and scallions carefully and add to bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

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