Sunday, November 09, 2008


serves two

1 tablespoon groundnut oil
6 long dried chillies
2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 whole star anise (optional)
3½oz smoked bacon, cut into 1cm/½in thick pieces
1 red chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons clear rice vinegar or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
7oz cucumber, halved lengthways, de-seeded and sliced into 1cm/½in thick wedges
pinch sea salt
1-2 pinches dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chilli oil
1 small handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
dry-roasted peanuts (optional)

Heat a wok until smoking and add the groundnut oil, then add the dried chillies and Sichuan peppercorns. Stir fry for a few seconds, or until fragrant. Add the star anise (if using), bacon lardons and chilli and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the lardons have turned golden-brown at the edges. Add the rice wine or sherry, vinegar and sesame oil and stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the cucumber and stir-fry for a few more seconds. Season with sea salt, dried chilli flakes and lime juice, stirring well. Pile the stir-fry onto a serving plate, drizzle over the chilli oil, garnish with the chopped coriander, sprinkle over some peanuts, if using, and serve immediately.

courtesy of: Ching-He Huang, Chinese Food Made Easy, BBC Food

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