What you’ll need
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and deseeded
- salt to taste
- 2 chicken breasts, skin on, about 450g
- 1 thin slice ginger
- 1 spring onion, white only, bruised
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, ground
- 4 spring onions, white part only, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp chilli oil
- 1 tbsp baby red shiso leaves
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 2 tbsp pure Chinese sesame paste or tahini
- 2 tbsp black rice vinegar
- 11⁄2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- pinch of five spice powder
- salt and pepper to taste
The easy bit
- Cut the cucumber into matchsticks, toss with a pinch of salt, and drain in a colander for about 20 minutes. Pat dry.
- Lay the chicken skin-side up on the ginger and the bruised spring onion, then place in a rapidly boiling steamer for 15 minutes, or until just cooked. Remove.
- When cool enough to handle, discard the chicken skin and tear the meat into similar-size threads as the cucumber. Toss the shredded chicken with the sesame oil, a little salt to taste and the ground Sichuan pepper.
- Whisk all the sauce ingredients together. The sauce should be quite thick but should still be able to pour. If yours is too thick, add boiling water 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
- To serve, lay the salted cucumber on a serving platter, strew the chicken over the cucumber and drizzle with sauce. Finish with the sliced spring onions, drops of chilli oil, and shiso and coriander. For that extra kick, a little Chinese chilli paste can be tossed with the shredded chicken.