Serious Eats continues to deliver amazing, weeknight vegan / vegetarian Sichuan options. The most recent recipe of theirs I have sampled is the Spicy Warm Silken Tofu with Celery and Cilantro Salad. True to the title of this post, this recipe couldn't be easier to assemble and takes virtually no time, particularly with some additional modifications.
First, grind the Sichuan peppercorns and cumin in either a mortar and pestle or through a fine chop on the cutting board, and then just combine with the other sauce ingredients. Second, chop the vegetables while the tofu is warming in the microwave, omitting the ice water bath. Third, top the warm tofu with the sauce and the vegetables, and eat immediately!
In my two or three versions of this dish, I have made some other slight omissions depending on the ingredients in my fridge, e.g., omitting celery or sesame seeds depending on my kitchen. In any case, the resulting output has been fantastic - reminds me a lot of the Xi'an Famous Foods Chang-an Spicy Tofu, which I love.
This is definitely comfort food at it's finest - warm tofu; spicy, complex sauce; and nice freshness from the cilantro, scallions and celery.