Spicy warm bacon or lardon and cucumber salad

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Serves: 2 Preparation time: 10 mins +M*Cooking time: 20 mins Courses:Starter
Categories: Salad
 
About the recipe
In Sichuan they love cured pork and for starters you will often find a delicious spicy cucumber salad in vinegar and Sichuan pepper oil. Inspired by these ingredients, I have used smoked bacon or lardons, hich gives this dish its smoky saltiness, and Sichuan peppercorns to provide numbing heat. The cucumber and rice vinegar help to cut through those flavours, making this a nunbelievably addictive and moreish dish. A great starter, it helps to 'kai-wei' - open up the appetite.

* plus marinating

Recipe from Chinese Food Made Easy by Ching He-Huang (Harper Collins, £17.99) Photography by Kate Whitaker
 
Ingredients
100g / 0.22 lb / 3½oz
Smoked lean bacon or lardons, or pancetta
1 tablespoon
Groundnut oil
6
Long dried chilli
2 teaspoons
Sichuan peppercorns
1 star
Anise
1 medium, deseeded and finely chopped
Red chilli
1 tablespoon (or dry sherry)
Shaohsing rice wine
2 tablespoons
Toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons
Clear rice vinegar or cider vinegar
200g / 0.44 lb / 7oz, halved lengthways, deseeded and sliced into 1cm/1⁄2 inch thick wedges
Cucumber
1 pinch
Sea salt
1 - 2 pinches
Dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon
Lime juice
1 tablespoon
Chilli oil
1 very small handful, roughly chopped
Fresh coriander leaves
(optional)
Dry-roasted peanuts
 
How to cook?
  1. Cut the bacon (or lardons) into 1cm/½ inch thick pieces. Heat a wok or pan over a high heat and add the groundnut oil. Add the dried chillies and Sichuan peppercorns and stir-fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
  2. Add the star anise and bacon or lardons and stir-fry until they have turned golden brown at the edges. Add the chopped chilli and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  3. Add the rice wine or sherry, the sesame oil and vinegar and stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the cucumber and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  4. Season with the salt, dried chilli flakes and lime juice.
  5. Place on a serving plate, drizzle over the chilli oil, garnish with the chopped coriander,sprinkle over some peanuts, if you like them, and serve immediately.
 
Please let us know what you liked about the recipes
1by Tom (9 months ago)
We found this recipe absolutely delicious, hot or cold.  Not cough cough burn but a warm glow.  I’m hooked!



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