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Recipes, Summer Recipes

An unusual but very cleansing ‘cooked salad’ or side dish. This simple starter is often served on street stands in China. Both TCM and Ayurveda promote celery for its cooling and cleansing properties.

Serves 4 as a side dish | Prep time: overnight | Cooking time: 10 mins

150g dried bean curd sticks
3 soaked wood ear mushrooms
2 sticks celery
1 carrot
2 tsp sesame oil
½ – 1 tsp salt
Soak the bean curd sticks overnight in warm water. When ready to use, plunge into boiling water and simmer for several minutes. Drain, cool and shred. Soak the wood ear mushrooms overnight; plunge into boiling water and then drain. Cut the celery and carrot into similar sized strips.

Boil water in a wok. Plunge in the carrot and celery. Bring back to the boil, then remove with a slotted spoon. Plunge into cold water. Shake the excess water off the ingredients, and mix together. Add salt and sesame oil.

This is best served immediately but you can prepare in advance and mix in the sesame oil and salt at the last minute.

P – Very cooling—eat regularly (if you can find the bamboo beancurd easily enough)
V – Ideally toss in a wok and eat warm
K – Add some chilli oil


‘Bamboo beancurd’ fu zhu or dried bean curd sticks are available in Chinese supermarkets overseas. Their chewy texture makes them very different from other bean curd products, and those who find regular bean curd too slimy may prefer this variety. They need to be soaked overnight (see full preparation details in the recipe below), and can be used in salads or in a noodle or miso soup.