2 x 200g (7 oz) chicken breasts
4 slices ginger, bruised
3 garlic cloves, bruised
270g dried udon noodles (or any other noodles of your choice)
1 large cucumber, finely sliced
1 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vinegar (either white vinegar or Chinese black vinegar)
2 tbsp chilli oil (click here for my homemade version)
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp chilli powder
Place 4 cups of water in medium saucepan. Add the ginger, garlic and spring onions. Add the chicken breasts and place over high heat. Wait for the water to just start to gently simmer, then turn the heat down to medium and continue to simmer for 8 minutes. Then turn the heat off (leave the saucepan on the hot stovetop) and leave for 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl of iced water. Reserve ½ cup of the poaching liquid.
When the chicken is cool, use your hands to shred the chicken.
For the dressing, heat the Sichuan peppercorns in a dry frying pan until fragrant. Use a mortar and pestle to grind to a fine powder. Transfer to a bowl. Add the toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce, vinegar, chilli oil, peanut butter, chilli powder and reserved poaching liquid. Whisk until smooth.
Cook the noodles according to packet instructions. Drain and divide among serving bowls. Top with the chicken and the cucumber. Spoon over generous spoonfuls of the sauce and serve.