Stir-fried Rice Cakes with Pork Belly, Toma­toes, and Spinach (Da­ji­u­jia)

SAVEUR - - Yunnan -

SERVES 4 To­tal: 20 min.

This ver­sion of Yun­nan’s most fa­mous erkuai stir-fry comes from a restau­rant called Golden Farm in the city of Teng­chong. Other ver­sions of the dish might use pea greens or cab­bage in place of the spinach, or gar­lic chives in place of the scal­lions. Pre­pared Korean rice cakes are a close sub­sti­tute for harder-to-source Yun­nanstyle erkuai. While they can be thawed and added to stir-fries right from the bag, the rice cakes’ con­sis­tency will vary from brand to brand; if very firm and dry, blanch the rice cakes for 20–30 sec­onds, then place them in ice wa­ter un­til ready to use.

1 large egg 6 oz. skinned pork belly, sliced cross­wise ⅛-inch thick, then cut into 1-inch-long pieces (¾ cup) 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil ⅓ cup (1 oz.) thinly sliced crem­ini mush­rooms ¾ lb. Yun­nan-style rice cakes (erkuai), cut ⅛-inch thick into tri­an­gu­lar slices (2½ cups), or sub­sti­tute thawed frozen sliced Korean rice cakes (ovalettes) 3 oz. (1½ cups) baby spinach 1 large, firm tomato sliced ¼-inch thick 5 medium scal­lions, white and light-green parts only, cut into ½-inch pieces (about ⅓ cup) 1 Tbsp. Chi­nese light soy sauce Kosher salt

1 In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Add the pork belly, and toss gen­tly to coat. Set aside.

2 Set a large wok over the high­est heat pos­si­ble; once it’s hot, add the oil. When the oil be­gins to smoke and shim­mer, pour in the meat and egg mix­ture, let­ting the egg puff up with­out stir­ring. Once the egg is mostly set, about 30 sec­onds, use a wok spat­ula to flip the mix­ture. Break up the egg, and sep­a­rate the meat pieces. Add the mush­rooms and cook for 1 minute, press­ing them against the sides of the wok to lightly brown them. Add the rice cakes, spinach, and tomato, and stir­fry, flip­ping and stir­ring con­stantly un­til the spinach is slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Add the scal­lions, then driz­zle in the soy sauce, pour­ing it around the outer edge of the wok in a cir­cle, stir­ring con­stantly to fully in­cor­po­rate. Con­tinue stir-fry­ing un­til the rice cakes are ten­der and the sauce is al­most com­pletely evap­o­rated, about 3 min­utes.

3 Trans­fer the mix­ture to a serv­ing plat­ter or bowl, and serve im­me­di­ately.

• Clock­wise from left: Meatand-vegetable-packed da­ji­u­jia is a per­fect stir-fry to eat on its own; a feast of cool­ing cu­cum­bers and fungi, erkuai with fresh and pick­led greens, and Sichuan-spiced pork loin with gar­lic chives.

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