I admittedly love take-out Chinese food, complete with the mystery packets of sauces. When trying to create a home-cooked dish inspired by the Thrice Cooked Bacon over rice cakes at Mission Chinese in San Francisco, I wanted to have a go at making my own homemade Duck Sauce, a spicy sweet condiment colored yellow by plums or apricots, I'm told. The dish is rounded out with pantry and fridge staples, and although there are a few steps, the rice, sauce, and bacon can be made ahead and the dish can be finished quickly for a weeknight meal. Enjoy! —Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus
crushed red pepper flakes
light brown sugar
rice wine vinegar
fresh ginger, finely minced
clove garlic, minced
scallions, thinly sliced
vegetable or other neutral flavored oil, such as peanut or canola
vegetable or other neutral oil
scallions, thinly sliced on a bias
slices of center cut bacon, cut into large lardons
Duck Sauce, see above
fresh ginger, finely minced
clove garlic, finely minced
cooked white rice (if made the same day, spread the freshly cooked rice on a sheet tray until at room temperature on the counter, then refrigerate to cool)
Preheat the oven to 400F. On a sheet tray, combine the pineapple, red pepper flakes, ground ginger, light brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Bake in the oven 8 minutes to concentrate the flavors and reserve.
Combine the apricot preserves and the rice wine vinegar in a small bowl, stirring with a fork to combine, and reserve.
In a saucepan over high heat, cook the fresh ginger, garlic, and scallions in the vegetable oil until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved pineapple mixture, reserved apricot preserve mixture, and soy sauce. Stir to combine. Bring back to a simmer before reducing the heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, about 8 minutes.
Either use an immersion blender or transfer to a conventional blender to blend and combine the sauce to a smooth consistency (it will not be translucent like the packets from Chinese takeout!)
First, make an egg-crepe: Beat the eggs and add a pinch of salt and white or black pepper. Stir in about 1/4 of the sliced scallions. Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick wok over high heat until shimmering, then pour in the egg mixture and swirl slightly to make a large flat disk of egg. Cook 2 minutes on the first side (this should brown, unlike an omelette), flip, and cook an additional 1 minute on the second side. Remove from the wok to a cutting board and leave the wok off the heat temporarily. When cool enough to handle, roll up the egg crepe and cut into strips.
Make the duck sauce bacon: place the wok over medium heat and add the bacon lardon, cooking for about 7 minutes to render out some of the bacon fat. Increase the heat to medium/high and add the duck sauce, stirring to combine, and cook, stirring frequently, until brown and caramelized in parts, about 7-8 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon, reserving the fat in the wok.
In the wok with the reserved bacon fat, stir fry the remaining scallions (keep a pinch of dark green tops for finishing the dish), ginger, and garlic for about 2 minutes. If you need additional oil in the pan, I suggest trying a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil along with a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Add the strips of egg and stir to coat, about 1 minute. Add the white rice along with the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and stir to combine the flavors. Spread the rice around the wok and let cook for intervals without stirring so it browns in parts, about 7 minutes. Add in the reserved bacon (with any juices that have accumulated on the plate) and combine - if you'd like to add more of your homemade duck sauce, do it at this step, to taste. Add the frozen peas and cook another 3-4 minutes to heat through, stirring occasionally.
Serve topped with the reserved scallion greens and with any left over duck sauce on the side.