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Stir-Fried Bacon in Sichuan Bean Sauces (Chao Larou)

Feel free to omit the celery for a more traditional chao larou, but use extra bacon or reduce the amount of sauce.
The Mala Market
Author: Taylor Holliday | The Mala Market | Inspiration & Ingredients for Sichuan Cooking


  • pounds bacon, thick cut (about ⅛ inch), cut in 2-inch lengths 300 grams
  • 5 stalks celery with leaves, cut on the diagonal ⅓-inch thick (optional; if omitting use extra bacon)
  • 2 medium leeks, cut into ½-inch sections
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Pixian doubanjiang (chili bean paste)
  • 1 tablespoon tianmianjiang (sweet wheat paste)
  • 1 tablespoon douchi (fermented black soybeans)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 scallions, cut into ½-inch sections


  • Heat wok over a high flame until starting to smoke and add 2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil. When oil is hot, add the bacon and stir-fry until it is almost done, but not browned. Remove bacon from wok and set aside.
  • Remove all but 3-4 tablespoons bacon fat from the wok. Reheat wok, add celery (if using) and leeks and stir-fry until they are starting to soften and browning on the edges. Push vegetables to the sides of the wok, leaving a well in the middle and add the stock. Add the chili bean paste, sweet wheat paste, fermented black beans and sugar to the stock and cook briefly.
  • Add back the pork and the scallions and stir-fry together until scallions are starting to soften and pork is completely done but not browned.