Sichuan Silken Tofu Salad Recipe


It is said that to fully understand a culture you need to experience and understand the food.

Sichuan food!! What is the first thing that jumps to mind when you hear that word?? Hot, spicy, chili, tongues on fire, steaming ears… true, but only partially so.

The Sichuan province is very fertile and is famous for many varieties of peppers from capsicums to fiery hot little chillies.

However, not all their food is flaming hot; that is a myth. The province is also famous for the Sichuan pepper which has a unique flavour. The Sichuan pepper is a berry which grows on prickly ash trees and is not to be confused with a peppercorn. It is neither hot nor spicy. It is highly aromatic with lemony notes and a citrusy after taste. It leaves your tongue with a slightly tingly and numbing sensation which is rather pleasant. I love using this spice with chicken and prawn stir-fries.

There are seven flavours that form the pillars of Chinese provincial specialty dishes; sweet (tien) comes from honey or sugar, sour (suan) comes from vinegar, salty (tien) comes from salt of soy, fragrant (xiang) from garlic and ginger, bitter (ku) from spring onions and leeks, nutty (ma) from sesame seeds or oils, and hot (la) from red chilies.1

Authentic Sichuan food is a melody of flavours with different depths, notes and aromas that hit all your sense receptors at the same time.

This recipe is very popular in my household. My children drizzle the sauce over almost anything like silken tofu, pan seared tofu steaks, cold noodles and even use it as a salad dressing.

It can stay fresh for weeks in the fridge in an air tight sealed jar. I really encourage you to try this recipe - it is so easy to prepare and it leaves in your mouth a highly addictive explosion of wonderful flavours.

Don’t forget to send me your feedback!

1 (Sinclair, 1991)


Servings: 5


  • 500 grams silken tofu block

  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Chinese aromatic vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons chili oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan pepper corn

  • A handful of scallions, chopped

  • A handful of coriander leaves, chopped

  • A handful of crispy onions

  • A handful of red bell pepper, finely diced



  • Slice the tofu and place it nicely on a serving plate.

  • In a pestle and mortar pound the Sichuan pepper until powdery and aromatic.

  • Put the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, water, garlic, sesame oil, chili oil, Sichuan pepper in a jar, seal and shake until sugar has melted.

  • Taste and adjust to your liking then pour over the tofu and top with the diced pepper, scallions, fried onions and coriander.

  • Place in the fridge until ready to serve.


Per Serving: 87 Calories; 4g Fat (39.8% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 626mg Sodium.

Other Options:

This recipe can alternatively be used with Firm Grilled Tofu, as well as Noodles.