Mission Chinese Food's Thrice-Cooked Bacon

On the opening day of Mission Chinese Food earlier this month, we seared our tongues with a jolting ma po tofu that left us feeling like amateurs. We're on our way back to redeeming our personal notion of heat tolerance with a new MCF dish called thrice-cooked bacon, emblazoned on the menu with one fiery chile pepper (the ma po signals a two-pepper alarm).

The bacon dish looks angry on the plate, scattered with large red chiles tangled up with scallions and cilantro, but its burn is tolerable, allowing other flavors to shine through. Squares of pork belly are soft and juicy, while the accompanying rice cakes, tender and chewy, could easily feature on their own in a beautiful vegetarian dish.

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