Shredded Chicken with Sichuan Peppercorn Sauce on Cold Noodles

Jiao Ma You Ban Mian

Sichuan peppercorns have a pleasant fragrance and a slightly numbing taste. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. Whenever I made this, people at work loved it. I like to cut the noodles with either kitchen scissors or cross cut with butter knives. A very easy dish to make!

Ingredients:

½ pound medium or thin Chinese Egg Noodles
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons a black vinegar like Zhejiang vinegar, Chekiang vinegar, Chenkong vinegar or red wine vinegar if you must
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons minced whole scallions
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn oil
1 small whole chicken breast (6 oz) with bone, steamed and boned, finely shredded, using your fingers with the grain
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

Directions:

Cooking and Chilling the Noodles

  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat.
  2. Add the noodles and stir immediately to separate the strands. When the water returns to a boil, cook for 1 minute if noodles are thin, 2 minutes if thick. Taste to make sure — the noodles should be tender but firm to the bite, a little softer than al dente.
  3. Drain and run cold water over the noodles immediately to cool them quickly and thoroughly. Shake off the excess water. With chopsticks, fluff them up for a few minutes to dry them completely. Then put the noodles in a serving bowl and add the sesame oil, tossing to coat them evenly.

Making the Sauce and Finishing the Dish

  1. Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, scallions, and peppercorn oil in a small bowl.
  2. Prepare the chicken. Sprinkle on the salt.
  3. Add the sauce and the chicken to the noodles, toss again, and serve.
  4. If you like the dish cold, refrigerate it to let the flavors meld.

(Serves 4)

Preferred Brands:

Sesame oil: Kadoya brand is my favorite sesame oil – a clean sesame oil with no overburnt tones that can be sometime found in other brands

Black vinegar: The best Chinese black vinegars are produced in the province of Chinkiang (or Chekiang or Zhejiang–there are many spellings). Black vinegar is more assertive than white rice vinegar, and it’s often used in stir-fries and as a dipping sauce. Gold Plum is a well-regarded brand.

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