In this dish, slivers of smoked bacon lardons are tossed with cucumber for a super umami-charged meal.
“You can use celery slices instead of cucumber to add a fresh, satisfying crunch,” says TV chef and cookery author Ching-He Huang. “This punchy, spicy, tangy, sweet dish is perfect against the backdrop of plain jasmine rice. Once of my favourite combinations ever.”
Sichuan pork, cucumber and chilli sauce
1tbsp rapeseed oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
50g lean smoked bacon lardons, finely diced
1tsp Shaohsing rice wine
⅓ large cucumber, deseeded and sliced into 0.5cm half-moons
¼tsp chilli bean sauce
1tbsp low-sodium light soy sauce
1tsp golden syrup
1tsp clear rice vinegar
6–8 roasted, unsalted peanuts
2 sprigs of fresh coriander, finely chopped
Very small pinch of dried chilli flakes
Cooked jasmine rice, to serve
1. Heat a wok over a high heat. Add the rapeseed oil and give it a swirl.
2. Add the garlic and red chilli, stirring for three to four seconds.
3. Add the smoked bacon lardons and stir-fry for five to 10 seconds until caramelised at the edges. Season with the Shaohsing rice wine.
4. Add the cucumber slices, chilli bean sauce, light soy sauce, golden syrup and clear rice vinegar, and toss well for 10 seconds until the cucumber has softened but still has a slight tender bite.
5. Add the roasted peanuts. Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle over the coriander and dried chilli flakes and serve with jasmine rice.
Wok For Less by Ching-He Huang is published by Kyle Books, priced £25. Photography by Jamie Cho. Available now