by Grace Young
Yep, you read that correctly - b a g e l s. The recipe calls for your standard plain Jewish bagel to be made into a delicious Chinese stir-fry. Crazy as it sounds, it works!
The recipe comes from Lejen Chen, of Mrs. Shanen's in Beijing. The original recipe is normally made with laobing, a type of Chinese flatbread. Lejen, having extra bagels on hand, decided to try it with bagels instead, and I thank her, for I'm sure the laobing would be hard to come by for me, if not downright impossible.
Mise en place.
Bowl 1: Ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, dried chili pepper
Bowl 2: Bacon
Bowl 3: Garlic
Bowl 4: Cabbage
Bowl 5: Soy sauce, rice vinegar
Bowl 6: Bagels
Bowl 7: Salt
The contents of bowl one are first stir-fried in a little oil to bring out their flavor, then the bacon is added and cooked just until it begins to crisp up a bit, then the garlic is added (the fat from the bacon is not thrown out! This is what helps flavor the dish), then the cabbage (which I would have liked more of), which is cooked just until it starts to wilt, at which time the soy sauce mixture and bagels go in, the wok is covered for a short time to soften the bagels (mine were extremely fresh - pillow soft, and I could have probably skipped this part), then a little salt is sprinkled in and tossed to combine. Voila! You now have an interesting and tasty side dish.
I was thinking this would be good for breakfast too, served alongside or topped with a poached egg. I don't see why you couldn't prep everything the evening before so it's ready to go when you are. If you feel your bagels are too dry, just sprinkle some water over them before covering the wok.
Think of this as a deconstructed BLT sandwich - minus the T; though you could add some halved cherry tomatoes if you like - I wouldn't tell. :)
We have been asked not to post the recipes here on our blog. You will find the recipe on page 255 of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, which you can purchase at your local bookstore or find at your local library. The recipe just so happens to be available here as well. :)