The Breath of a Wok | Simon & Schuster, 2004 | Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal|
Instructor Chef Kevin Chuk, of the Chinese Cuisine Training Institute in Hong Kong, stir-fries this dish using a northern-style wok. I have adapted Chef Chuk’s recipe by making it medium hot, but for more heat increase the chili oil. Sichuan peppercorns add a wonderful aromatic taste.—Grace Young
Active time: 25 minutes | Total time: 25 minutes.
Chicken with Sichuan Peppercorns Recipe
- 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thigh, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 teaspoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon black soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinkiang or balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon chili oil
- 2 tablespoons homemade chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 8 small dried red chilies
- 1 teaspoon thinly sliced ginger
- 1 small garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon roasted and ground Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 scallion, chopped
1. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, 1 teaspoon of the rice wine, the cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the white pepper. In a small bowl, combine the black soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, chili oil, broth, the remaining 2 teaspoons rice wine, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
2. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the vegetable oil, add the dried chilies, and carefully add the chicken, spreading it evenly in the wok. Cook undisturbed 1 minute, until the chicken begins to brown. Then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until the chicken is browned on all sides but not cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. Add the ginger, garlic, ground Sichuan peppercorns, and scallion and stir-fry in the dry wok 15 seconds. Return the chicken to the wok. Stir the sauce mixture and swirl it into the wok. Stir-fry 30 seconds or until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened. Discard the chilies.
Chicken with sichuan peppercorns recipe © 2004 Grace Young | Alan Richardson. Photo © 2004 Alan Richardson. All rights reserved.