the appetizer:

Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories by Grace Young, includes recipes like The Simple Stir-Fry; Stir-Fried Squid with Black Bean Sauce; Stir-Fried Lotus Root with Bacon and Vegetables; and Wok-Seared Vegetables.

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Stir-Fried Lotus Root
with Bacon and Vegetables

Serves 4 as a vegetable side dish.

Stir-Fried Lotus Root with Bacon and Vegetables


This is the delectable recipe Ken Lo (see Partners in Stir-Frying, page 181 of the book) prepared for me the day I went to visit him. In deference to the memory of his mother-in-law, Wai Ching Wong, I have omitted the green beans he included that day. The dish is a classic example of the Cantonese siu chau, or "simple stir-fry" (see The Simple Stir-Fry). Lotus root comes in three connected pieces: the large piece is typically used for stir-fries because it is said to have a crisper texture; the two smaller pieces are reserved for soups. Use extra care when halving the lotus root. Once it has been peeled, it can be slippery and difficult to hold. I like to shave a thin slice off so that it can sit securely on a cutting board cut side down before I halve it lengthwise.

1. Put the cloud ears in a small bowl with enough cold water to cover for 30 minutes. When softened drain and discard the water. Remove the hard spots from the cloud ears, cut into bite-sized pieces, and set aside.

2. Trim the lotus root ends. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the lotus root, removing the rootlike strands, and rinse under cold water. Slice the lotus root lengthwise in half. Cut each half into 14-inch-thick slices to make about 2 cups. Rinse the lotus root again in case there is any mud lodged in it. Drain the slices in a colander and shake out any excess water.

3. Remove the hard rind and thick layer of fat attached to the Chinese bacon and discard. Cut the bacon crosswise into scant 1/4-inch-thick slices to make about 1/2 cup. In a small bowl combine the broth, rice wine, soy sauce. and sesame oil.

4. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the peanut oil, add the ginger slices, and stir-fry 10 seconds or until the ginger is fragrant. Add the bacon and stir-fry 45 seconds or until it begins to release its fat. Add the lotus root and stir-fry 1 minute or until well combined. Add the snow peas, carrots, and cloud ears and stir-fry 1 minute or until well combined. Swirl the rice wine mixture into the wok, sprinkle on the salt and pepper, and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until the lotus root and snow peas are crisp-tender. Stir in the shredded scallions.


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This page created September 2010