Lots of crisp-tender celery makes this dish.
Beef, lamb or crumbled tempeh would all be fine substitutes for the pork. If you can’t find the Chinkiang (black) vinegar at your nearest Asian market, use balsamic vinegar.
Serve with steamed white rice.
FOR THE SAUCE
2 table spoons water
1 table spoon sugar
1 table spoon Chinkiang black vinegar (may substitute balsamic vinegar; see headnote)
2 tea spoons soy sauce
1 tea spoon cornstarch
1 tea spoon toasted sesame oil
FOR THE STIR-FRY
1 tablespooncanola oil
4 dried red chiles, crumbled (seeds discarded if you prefer less spicy heat)
1 tea spoon Sichuan peppercorns
5 medium ribs celery, sliced on the diagonal
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
3 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced thin
6 scallions, white and light-green parts, thinly sliced
8 ouncesground pork
1⁄4 cuproasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
For the sauce: Whisk together the water, sugar, Chinkiang vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch and toasted sesame oil in a medium bowl.
For the stir-fry: Heat the oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the red chiles and Sichuan peppercorns; stir-fry for about 1 minute, until the chiles darken slightly.
Add the celery and green bell pepper; stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until crisp-tender. Add the garlic, ginger and white parts of the scallion and stir-fry an additional 1 minute, until fragrant. Transfer to a plate.
Add the pork to the skillet and cook, breaking up the meat as you stir-fry, about 5 minutes, until browned. Add the celery mixture and stir to combine. Stir the sauce, add it to the skillet, and stir to coat everything. Sprinkle the peanuts and green scallion slices over the top, and season lightly with salt.