Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; when it simmers, add ginger, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, and chili flakes. Remove from heat and let sit until cool, at least 1 hour and preferably 2 or 3. Strain oil into a bowl or jar and discard spices.
Put a pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add celery and blanch for about a minute; drain in colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
Layer celery and tofu on serving plates, drizzle with chili oil and sprinkle with salt.
Recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman