Fast Recipes

Chicken with chilled noodles, cucumber and Sichuan-vinegar dressing

This chilled Sichuan chicken salad packs a mouth-numbing punch. Double the recipe for an enviable work lunch the next day.

By Alice Storey
  • Serves 4
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Sichuan chicken salad with chilled noodles and cucumber
Double this recipe for great leftovers - it makes an enviable work lunch. It's best served super-chilled.


  • 500 ml chicken stock (2 cups)
  • 6 spring onions, white parts thinly sliced, green tops reserved
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 long red chilli, split
  • 2 thin slices ginger
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 160gm each)
  • 180 gm soba noodles
  • 1½ tsp sesame oil
  • 150 gm podded frozen edamame
  • 1 tbsp roasted black sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp roasted white sesame seeds
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, seeds removed, cut into long, thin julienne
  • 1 cup coriander, coarsely chopped
Black vinegar dressing
  • 2 tbsp black vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and crushed
  • 2 tsp caster sugar


  • 1
    Combine stock, spring onion tops, garlic, chilli, ginger and 500ml water in a saucepan just large enough to hold chicken snugly. Bring to a simmer, add chicken, and simmer for 5 minutes, then cover, remove from heat and leave to continue cooking for 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool, then shred meat.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, cook soba noodles in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (2-3 minutes), stirring so noodles don't stick together. Drain, refresh in iced water, drain again and toss with 1 tsp sesame oil and set aside.
  • 3
    Blanch edamame in a saucepan of boiling salted water until bright green (see notes). Refresh in iced water, drain and toss with remaining sesame oil.
  • 4
    For black vinegar dressing, combine ingredients in a small bowl.
  • 5
    Toss chicken with sesame seeds and a little of the dressing, and combine in bowls with noodles, edamame, cucumber, coriander and sliced spring onion, and serve drizzled with remaining dressing.


To blanch an ingredient, cook it briefly in boiling water, then drain it. To refresh it, plunge it in plenty of iced water (this stops the cooking process), then drain it.