Hands On Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
pestle and mortar, wok with lid, slotted spoon
The pep and spice of Szechuan peppercorns should never be underestimated! They add a wonderful numbing fuzz to these crispy chicken pieces for a speedy chicken salad with a difference.
½ Chinese cabbage, shredded
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into ribbons or matchsticks
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp cornflour
1tsp Chinese five-spice
6 skinless chicken thigh fillets, diced
70ml vegetable or groundnut oil
2 heaped tsp Szechuan peppercorns, ground in a pestle and mortar
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine
5 spring onions, cut into 3cm lengths
Sea salt and black pepper
1. Put the cabbage, fennel and carrot in a bowl and squeeze over the lime juice. Add the sesame oil and seasoning, toss together and set aside.
2. Mix the cornflour and Chinese five-spice together in a large bowl and then add the diced chicken and toss to coat.
3. Pour the vegetable or groundnut oil into a wok and place over a high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and fry until golden and really crisp. Take out with a slotted spoon and toss in the Szechuan pepper.
4. Pour away most of the oil in the wok then add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds before adding the rice wine, chillies and spring onions. Cover the wok and cook for 3–4 minutes, tossing regularly.
5. Divide the cabbage, fennel and carrot salad between 4 plates and top with the spring onions and chicken. Serve immediately.