Saturday, February 19, 2011

bang bang chicken

This recipe was the star of the show at my Chinese New Year dinner. Backstage in the kitchen, Bang Bang Chicken is an affable companion: easy-going in that it can be ready long before dinner since it doesn't need to be hot, and prompt in that it can be ready quickly. It's street food (from the Szechuan region of China)--hence the simplicity of the preparation. I can imagine shovelling this into my mouth on street corners--but it will be equally at home on your much more refined dinner table.

Bang Bang Chicken
serves 4 as a main dish or 6 as a side dish
adapted from A Little Taste of China

Make this with leftover roasted or poached chicken. Or poach the chicken at the beginning of the recipe, then use the same cooking water for the noodles.

1 1/2 cucumbers
1 t salt
30 g bean thread noodles, or rice vermicelli
1 t toasted sesame oil
250 g cooked chicken, cut into shreds
2 scallions (spring onions), sliced

for the dressing:
1/4 c (60 g) peanut butter
1 t soy sauce
4 t sugar
3 T rice wine vinegar
1 T toasted sesame oil
1 scallion (spring onion), sliced
1 T minced ginger
1 t chilli paste
1/4 c (60 ml) chicken stock or water

Slice the cucumbers into sticks. Toss with the salt and set aside in a bowl for 20 minutes.

Make the dressing by whisking together all the dressing ingredients.

Cook the noodles according to the packet directions; this will only take a few minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water so they cool to room temperature.
Combine the cucumbers, noodles, sesame oil, and chicken. Pour the dressing over and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the scallions.


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