2 tbspvegetable oil100 gmbacon, thinly sliced25 gmginger, cut into julienne1garlic clove, thinly shaved on a mandolin½ tspSichuan peppercorns, coarsely ground in a mortar and pestle2baby cos lettuces, cut into wedges1 tbsp eachShaoxing wine and light soy sauce2 tspoyster sauce½ tspred bean paste (optional; see note)To serve:steamed jasmine riceDeep-fried tofuFor deep-frying:vegetable oil200 gm (1⅓ cups)plain flour1 tsp eachsea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper1 tspSichuan peppercorns, finely ground in a mortar and pestle600 gmsilken tofu, cut into 16 pieces
For deep-fried tofu, heat oil in a large saucepan to 180C. Combine flour, salt, pepper and Sichuan peppercorns in a bowl. Coat tofu in flour mixture to coat, then deep-fry, turning occasionally, until golden (2-4 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok until smoking. Add bacon, stir-fry until golden (1 minute), add ginger, garlic, Sichuan peppercorns and lettuce and stir-fry until lettuce just wilts (20 seconds). Add remaining ingredients (except rice), toss to combine and serve with tofu and steamed rice.
Note Red bean paste is available from Asian grocers.