Celery, Tofu, and Peanut Salad
This is my variation of one of the first recipes I tried from Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop. Easy, delicious, and surprising. I have lovage in my garden, which has a strong celery-lemon flavor, and plan to try this recipe with a little added to intensive the celery flavor.
- Packet of smoked firm tofu (alternative: plain tofu or tofu skin cut into shreds)
- A few celery stalks—about the same total volume as the tofu (Chinese celery if available; if not, the leaves and dark outer stalk of supermarket celery are closer to the flavor and appearance of Chinese celery than the pale stalks we are used to dipping or stuffing with peanut butter)
- Handful of roasted peanuts—you can make these yourself, but I just used Planters Peanuts I had in the cupboard
- Homemade or purchased “red oil” – chili oil with sediment – to taste
- A little sugar
- Sprinkle of salt
- Cut the celery lengthwise into thin strips, then crosswise into small pieces of less than 1/2-inch square.
- Put water in a saucepan, and when it boils, tip in the celery pieces and blanch them for 30–60 seconds, just enough to make them brighter green and a little translucent. Immediately turn them into a strainer and run lots of cold water over them to stop the cooking. They should still be crunchy. Shake them dry.
- Cut the tofu into similarly sized small squares, and toss with the now cold celery pieces and the peanuts.
- Add the chili oil, sugar, and salt to taste. Serve at room temperature.