Sichuan chicken and cucumber salad
Sunday 31 March 2013
I love the way dry spices are used in northern Chinese cooking. Here the fresh, juicy cucumber is just what you need to contrast the tingly sensation the Sichuan pepper leaves on your tongue.
5 spring onions
3 chicken breasts
3 tbsp Chinese rice wine
3cm piece ginger, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ tsp Sichuan peppercorns
½ tsp sea salt
1 large cucumber, cut into chunks
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp dried crushed chillies
Chilli oil, to serve
Finely shred the spring onions and put any trimmings in a small pan with the chicken. Pour in enough water to cover. Stir in the rice wine, ginger and garlic and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes then remove from the heat, cover and set aside to cool.
Remove the chicken from the broth and roughly shred. Place in a large serving dish and stir through 1 tbsp of the cooking liquor. Cover and keep chilled in the fridge until needed.
Toast the Sichuan peppercorns and salt in a small frying pan over a medium heat until the peppercorns release their aroma. Grind with a pestle and mortar and set aside.
To serve, fold the cucumber and shredded spring onions into the chicken. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil and the dried chillies and top with the Sichuan pepper mix. Serve with some chilli oil on the side.
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