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.
12 ounces bacon, cut into large bite-sized pieces
8 to 10 dried red chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced or grated ginger
1 red bell pepper, diced
¼ 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
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.