serves 4 as a vegetable side dish
1/4 cup cloud ears
1 large lotus root section (about 8 ounces)
2 ounces Chinese bacon
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
4 slices ginger, smashed
8 ounces snow peas, strings removed
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup finely shredded scallions
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.
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.
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.
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.
bacon recipe courtesy of: The Global Gourmet®, Forkmedia LLC, PO Box 2261, Wimberley, Texas 78676-2261; Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories, by Grace Young, Simon & Schuster 2010