4 slices ginger, bruised
3 garlic cloves, bruised
2 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
2 x 200g (7 oz) chicken breasts
1 large cucumber, finely sliced
½ tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vinegar (either white vinegar or Chinese black vinegar)
1 tbsp chilli oil (click here for my homemade version)
1 tsp white sugar
¼ tsp sea salt
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 a rolling pin to bang the chicken pieces to loosen them. Then tear into fine shreds.
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, sugar, salt and the reserved poaching liquid.
Scatter the cucumber over a serving plate. Top with the shredded chicken. Spoon over the dressing. Add additional chilli oil if you like it spicy.