Koushui Ji – a Spicy Sichuan Chinese Chicken Salad

For something a bit different from your standard chicken salad this summer, there’s always the spicy sichuan koushui ji, which is also very easy to make. You can use either one whole chicken, or, as I’ve done here, use only chicken thighs. I’ve also used boneless pieces in this recipe, as I find it easier to eat.

You can make this the night before and store it in the fridge – after all, it’s supposed to be eaten cold – and prep time is minimal, while cooking time is roughly 30 minutes. It really is very simple, despite the long list of ingredients.

For boiling

4-6 boneless chicken thighs
1 tbsp of sichuan peppercorns
2-4 slices of ginger or 1 tbsp ginger powder
White sections from 2 spring onions
1 tbsp of salt
1 tbsp of rice wine

2-3 red chilies
Handful of chopped coriander
Chopped green parts of 2 spring onions

For topping
2 tbsps of roasted peanuts
2 tbsps of roasted sesame

4 tbsps of chili oil
4 tbsps of sesame oil
2 tbsps of sugar
2 tbsps of soy sauce (light)
2 tbsps of rice vinegar
2 tbsps of rice wine
1 tbsp of ginger powder
1 tbsp of chopped garlic
1 tsp of coriander powder (optional)
1 tbsp of sichuan pepper powder
Pinch of salt

Step 1: If needed, remove the skin from the chicken, and in a large pot, add a touch of vegetable oil and fry the sichuan peppercorn, ginger and spring onion long enough for the peppercorns to sizzle.

Step 2: Add the chicken and add enough water to cover the chicken, the add in the salt and rice wine. Stir, bring to a boil on high heat and boil for 10 minutes, once the chicken is cooked. Switch to low heat and place the lid on for a further 5 minutes.

Step 3: In the meantime, prepare a bowl of cold water under the tap or use ice if available.

Step 4: also chop about a third of the coriander, all of the chilies and the green parts of the spring onion.

Step 5: mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and stir well. Top this with the chopped coriander, spring onion and chili.

Step 6: once the chicken has cooked, transfer them over to the cooling bowl and cool immediately. You can start tearing the chicken into strips under the tap to help them cool faster.

Step 7: line a bowl with coriander, and arrange the finely torn chicken strips over this. Sprinkle the peanut and sesame over this, then pour the sauce over it all. It’s now ready to serve!

You can always adjust the flavour of the sauce to your own liking – make it less spicy if you wish. It’s a perfect dish for the summer, don’t you think?


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