Kung Pao Bacon

These chiles will add a deep, nutty flavor to dishes and are great to use in salsas and sauces. It is a medium-hot chile that is good in soups, stews, sauces and sausage.

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12 ounces bacon, cut into large bite-sized pieces
8 to 10 dried red chiles
5 scallions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced or grated ginger
1 red bell pepper, diced
ΒΌ cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar, or substitute good-quality balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper


Serves: 4

Prepare the sauce: In another bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, and Sichuan pepper. Stir until the sugar and cornstarch is dissolved and set aside.

Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add the bacon and cook until crisp on the outside and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

Drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the pan. Add the chiles and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, until the chiles have just begun to blacken and the oil is slightly fragrant.

Add the scallion whites, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the red bell pepper and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Return the bacon to the pan. Pour in the sauce and mix to coat the other ingredients. Stir in the peanuts. Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle the scallion greens on top, and serve.

From appetiteforchina.com