Stir-Fried Smoky Bacon with Smoked Tofu
(Xiang Gan Zi Chao La Rou)
We based this recipe on one from author Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province, (W. W. Norton, 2007). If you can't find smoked tofu, flavored tofu makes a good substitute.
1 7" piece smoked Chinese bacon (about 1⁄4 lb.),
rind removed and discarded
2 tbsp. peanut oil
3⁄4 lb. smoked tofu, cut into 1" squares
about 1⁄3" thick
10 dried chiles, such as árbol, stemmed and
seeded, cut into 1⁄2" pieces
10 Chinese garlic chives or scallions, green parts only,
cut into 1" pieces
1. Put the bacon into a steamer basket set over a pot of simmering water. Cover and steam until the bacon firms up, about 7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate and let cool. Cut the bacon crosswise into 1⁄3" pieces and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and stir-fry until it has just begun to release a little of its fat, about 30 seconds. Add the tofu and stir-fry until it is just golden brown, 2–3 minutes. Push the bacon and the tofu up the sides of the wok as much as you possibly can, forming a space in the bottom of the wok for the oil to pool, add the chiles, and stir-fry them briefly until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix the ingredients in the wok together, add the chives and the soy sauce to taste, and stir-fry until the chives are just crisp-tender, about 30 seconds.