New Use For Bagels

I’ve toasted them.

I’ve smeared them with cream cheese and jam.

I’ve piled slices of silky smoked salmon on them.

But until now, I had never stir-fried a bagel.

Yes, you read that right.

Of all the recipes in award-winning cookbook writer Grace Young’s new book, “Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge” (Simon & Schuster) that had me running to grab my wok — and there are many — the one that most intrigued me was this unusual one for “Stir-Fried Bagels with Cabbage and Bacon.”

Young discovered this dish in Beijing, where a creative group of homecooks apparently do indeed enjoy bagels in a stir-fry. This inspired use was prompted by the establishment of a bagel company in Beijing in the mid-1990s, begun by a Chinese-American woman who was born in Taiwan and raised in Brooklyn.

Two plain bagels get cubed and tossed into a hot wok with bacon, green cabbage, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, chili pepper and Sichuan peppercorns.

This rustic, rather country-like dish reminds me a little of Thanksgiving stuffing  done Chinese-style. The bagel pieces remain soft, yet soak up all the lovely rendered bacon fat, giving the dish a rather salty richness with a subtle, tingling heat from the Sichuan peppercorns.

It’s a dish that will definitely make you look at bagels in a whole new light.

Stir-Fried Bagels with Cabbage and Bacon

(Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal)

Grace Young writes that if you use day-old bagels, sprinkle a tablespoon of water over the bagel-cabbage mixture before covering the wok.

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

1 dried red chili pepper, snipped on one end

2 slices ginger, smashed

1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns

5 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide pieces (about 4 ounces)

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic

6 cups cubed green cabbage (about 1 pound)

2 large plain bagels, cut into 1/8-inch cubes (about 6 cups)

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce and vinegar.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, add chili, ginger, and peppercorns, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 10 seconds until aromatics are fragrant. Add bacon, reduce heat to medium, and stir-fry 3 minutes or until bacon is slightly crisp on the edges. Add garlic and stir-fry 10 seconds or until garlic is just fragrant. Add cabbage, increase heat to high, and stir-fry 1 minute or until cabbage leaves just begin to wilt. Swirl soy sauce mixture into the wok, add bagels, and stir-fry 1 minute or until well combined. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 1 minute or until bagels have softened. Uncover, sprinkle on the salt, and stir-fry until well-combined.

From “Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge” by Grace Young

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Date: Wednesday, 7. July 2010 5:27
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Asian Recipes, General, Ginger, Recipes (Savory)

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  1. 1

    Hi Carolyn – Marcia here from Mel’s blog. I’m excited about this recipe as it appears that I’ll have a bumper crop of Chinese cabbage – that would work instead of green cabbage right? Also, I’m going to try the berry cake but with strawberries as that’s all I have ready right now. Thanks!

  2. 2

    Carolyn, I was so delighted by the uniqueness of this recipe. It certainly is interesting. I’ve spent some time reading other of your posts and have really enjoyed my visit. I like your recipes and the convivial tone of your blog. I’ll be back. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  3. 3

    A great use! This stir-fried dish must be delicious.



  4. 4

    I have never heard of that, but what a great way to use day old bagels!

  5. 5

    A delicious diversions love bagels ..

  6. 6

    Ha ha, you’re totally right. I definitely have never seen stir-fried bagels before. They sort of remind me of croutons, although I’m guessing they aren’t nearly as crunchy!

  7. 7

    Wow, just wow. Now if only we had decent bagels around here. :)

  8. 8

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sean Timberlake, andi_fisher and others. andi_fisher said: An amazing + YUMMY way to use day old bagels! (via @CarolynJung) […]

  9. 9

    Oooh, great idea for my next Thanksgiving menu! Gotta love bacon. :D

  10. 10

    ok now this is good. i love this. i used to fry my bagels in butter (when i was young and thin) so i can easily see why this is just yummy.

  11. 11

    Okay…that looks like something I want to make immediately. Just bought bacon too!

  12. 12

    These stir-fried bagels with bacon are very yummy for the tummy!

    All the best,


  13. 13

    Bagels? In a Stir-Fry? Really? Intriguing! I’ll have to give this a try.

  14. 14

    I love stir-frys…I don’t eat bacon or else I’d be making this for breakfast. The cookbook itself sounds really interesting though.

  15. 15

    This is a first for me. I like the idea that the bacon fat is absorbed and perhaps takes on a bacon-y crust. I must try this recipe for the novelty.

  16. 16

    I love this idea. Bread is a wonderful ingredient. I love panzanella, Italian bread salad. Bagels are a great idea — I can see that texture working really well, cubed in a stir-fry.

  17. 17

    It’s like croutons or bread crisps in a salad! I like the idea. :D

  18. 18

    Dear Carolyn – Did you honestly say “stir fry a bagel”? WOW! But with cabbage and bacon it’s my kinda stir fry. Gotta give this a go when bagels are aplenty :)

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  19. 19

    how about, slap the bagel with fish paste and deep fry it! :) can right? innovative?

  20. 20

    As a carbohydrate lover. This is basically my dream dish. Nothing like a good NY bagel soaked up in bacon fat!

  21. 21

    Sounds so interesting! Got to find some bagel to try it out. ;)

  22. 22

    This is something I would never have thought to try, but I like the comparison to stuffing.

  23. 23

    how fortuitous–my boss gave me a bag of bagels yesterday and i wasn’t really sure what to do with them–after all, i’m not a fan of the lox. :)

  24. 24

    In Facebook I glued “Oye” and “Yahh” together to create “Oye Yahh!” a Jewish (Yiddish?)-Chinese slang combo expressing surprise well shy of shock-and-awe but somewhere between “Good grief!” and “omg!”.

  25. 25

    This looks absolutely awesome! I cannot wait to try it!

  26. 26

    How interesting. I never would have thought of bagels and stir fry. Very cool:)

  27. 27

    Ha! Creative and hilarious. My tummy rumbles with the possibilities… brekkie bagel stir fry with eggs and cheese… stir fried bagel poutine… yum!

  28. 28

    I grew up eating bagels, but I’ve never, ever heard of stir-frying one! I love it!

  29. 29

    Bet this is delicious. It certainly is creative!

  30. 30

    JuliaLikesRed: Oh wow — stir-fried bagel poutine?? That might just be crazy good. ;)

  31. 31

    […] You learn something new every day… Read ahead […]

  32. 32

    Wow, that is a new one for me, Can’t wait to spring it on hubby!

  33. 33

    Wow, fantastic! A few months ago we ate a dish of stir-fried you tiaow with pork and celery at a sort-of Cantonese restaurant in George Town,Penang that sounds similar. And my reaction was as yours — reminded me of my mom’s Thanksgiving turkey stuffing.

  34. 34

    I never would have thought of this…what a great idea!! It looks delicious :)

  35. 35

    I just learned that some people make ice cream sandwiches with doughnuts-perhaps a cinnamon raisin bagel would be a good base for rum raisin ice cream sandwich.

  36. 36

    Verrrrry interesting! I’d make this but with pastrami instead of bacon. It also gets me thinking what other uses bagels might have. Croutons, for sure! French toast, maybe!

  37. 37

    wow very intriguing! definitely making me think of bagels in a new light..

  38. 38

    […] Another Recipe From Grace Young: Stir-Fried Bagels with Cabbage and Bacon (Yes, bagels!) […]

  39. 39

    […] More Unusual Recipes: Stir-Fried Bagels with Cabbage and Bacon […]

  40. 40

    […] * New Use For Bagels […]

  41. 41

    Very different and interesting recipes. Thank you. Look excellent.

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