This summer is all about light and healthy. If you missed some of the early summer dishes I shared, be sure to check out this healthy congee dish and the delicious shake made from avocado. To continue the healthy summer, I would like to introduce you a traffic dish made from dried bean curd (tofu). If you like the home style tofu dish I posted, I am sure you’ll love this one as well.
So what’s dried bean curd? Contrary to common belief, dried bean curd, aka dried tofu or tofu cake, is not made directly from fresh tofu but made from a method similar to the tofu production process. Dried bean curd typically contains 40% less liquid than tofu and is common sold smoked or flavored.
Similar to tofu, dried bean curd is rich in protein and is widely used as a meat substitute or mock meat in many vegetarian dishes. Dried bean curd is sold in sealed packages in health food section at large supermarkets. Otherwise, your best bet is to visit a local Asian grocery store.
In Chinese cuisine, dried bean curd is cooked and enjoyed in many ways. With smoked or flavored dried bean curd, you can just eat it out of package. Sometimes, dried bean curd is added to other proteins to enhance the flavor and other times it is cooked with vegetables such as celery to form a great vegan dish.
The dish I am sharing today is a classic cold vegetarian dish made from dried bean curd and celery. The crunchy celery and bean curd tossed in a light garlicky vinegary dressing makes this a great summer cold appetizer. And if I were you, I’d serve this with congee to make a perfect summer meal.
Slice the dried bean curd into thin slices.
Julienne celery ribs and carrots
In a pot of boiling water, blanch the sliced dried bean curd very about 30 seconds. Remove the dried bean curd to a colander but keep the water.
Add 1 tbsp of salt to the boiling water and blanch the celery and carrot in the boiling water for about 1 minute. You do want to keep the celery ribs crunchy so do not overcook the celery. Remove from the water and drain in a colander.
Transfer the bean curd, celery, and carrot to a large salad bowl. Add all the ingredients for the dressing. Toss everything together and garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Serve in room temperature or cold.
Enjoy and stay cool!