1 tspwhite peppercorns10garlic cloves5coriander roots, soaked to remove dirt and scraped15 gm(about 2 pieces) turmeric2lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely chopped2 tbspfish sauce1 tbsplight palm sugar, crushed12chicken thigh fillets, skin scored2sugarcane stalks, about 30cm long eachCucumber pickle60 ml (¼ cup) white vinegar60 gm (¼ cup)caster sugar4red shallots, thinly sliced1birdseye chilli, thinly sliced1Lebanese cucumber, quartered lengthways and thinly sliced
Pound peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Set aside. Pound garlic, coriander, turmeric and lemongrass in mortar and pestle until a paste forms, add fish sauce and sugar and stir to combine. Rub over chicken and marinate in a non-reactive container overnight.
Meanwhile, for cucumber pickle, combine vinegar, sugar and 60ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, stir to dissolve sugar, then set aside to cool. Add remaining ingredients and refrigerate to pickle (6 hours-overnight). Transfer to a sterilised container. Cucumber pickle will keep refrigerated for a week.
Split sugarcane stalks in half lengthways with a large chef’s knife or cleaver, then cut into thirds. Thread a chicken thigh onto each sugarcane skewer.
Heat a barbecue (or char-grill pan) to medium and grill chicken, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (20-25 minutes). Set aside to rest (5 minutes), then serve with cucumber pickle.