Sichuan pepper adds a unique flavour and tingly mouth-numbing quality to dishes. If you're not familiar with it, add a little at a time until you're comfortable with the taste.
- 80 ml grapeseed oil (1/3 cup)
- 20 small dried chillies
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 spring onions, cut into batons
- ¼ tsp finely ground Sichuan peppercorns, or to taste
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp Chinkiang vinegar, or to taste
- To serve: steamed rice (optional)
- 400 gm skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2cm-3cm pieces
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Shoaxing wine
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1For marinated chicken, combine ingredients in a bowl, turn to coat well, and set aside to marinate for 5 minutes (this can also be refrigerated overnight to marinate).
- 2Heat oil in a large wok over high heat until hot, add chicken in 2 batches (be careful, hot oil will spit) and stir-fry until golden (1-2 minutes). Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain half the oil from the wok, then add dried chillies and toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant (1 minute). Add garlic, spring onions and Sichuan pepper, and toss to combine. Return chicken to wok along with soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and vinegar, toss to combine, season to taste and serve with steamed rice.
Note Chinkiang vinegar, a fragrant black vinegar, is available from Asian grocers.
Drink Suggestion: Spicy cool-climate syrah Drink suggestion by Max Allen