Bang Bang Chicken
Ignore the image (if you can)… This is a great easy summer dinner which takes poached chicken salad to a whole new level. The recipe I use is from SBS Food, but there are more than a few different versions out there. I remember reading that this is a traditional Chinese street food snack and the name comes from the sound of the cooked chicken being flattened and chopped on boards. Use a variety of salad veg – tomatoes, radishes, snow peas, corn, spinach, mushrooms, are all good and whatever else you can think of. We don’t bother with the rice, but it would definitely be more filling that way – glass noodles would probably be good too. As usual, I leave the chilli out of the sauce for the boy and we drizzle over good ole Sriracha at the table. The sauce is absolutely delicious (I always make1½ times the recipe) and the numbing sensation of the Sichuan peppers totally addictive.
(about 2) chicken breast fillets, trimmed
1 Lebanese cucumber
1 carrot, cut into julienne or matchsticks
½ iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
chilli oil sauce or straight chilli sauce
steamed rice, to serve
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar (chinkiang) or rice wine vinegar
70 g (¼ cup) sesame paste or tahini
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chilli oil sauce
Place chicken in a pan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, cover, then remove from heat and stand for 20- 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and cool. Using the flat side of a knife, press to flatten slightly. Using your fingers, shred chicken. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Meanwhile, cut cucumber in half lengthwise and discard seeds. Slice on the diagonal, then place in a colander, toss with ½ tsp salt and stand for 10 minutes. Drain and gently squeeze out excess moisture. Set aside.
To make sesame sauce, toast peppercorns in a frying pan over low heat for 1 minute or until fragrant; take care not to let them burn. Using a mortar and pestle, grind to a powder. Whisk together sugar, soy and vinegar. Stir in remaining ingredients and the ground peppercorns.
Combine cucumber, carrot, lettuce and spring onions in a bowl. Place on a platter, top with chicken and drizzle with sesame sauce. Serve with chilli oil sauce and rice.
Serves 4 (or 2 greedy people)