- 1⁄2 onion
- 1 red pepper
- 400g boneless chicken thighs
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 bird’s-eye chilli
- 1 spring onion
- 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
- 10 dried red chillies
- 200g cashew nuts
- 1 & 1⁄2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For The Marinade
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- a large pinch of Chinese five-spice
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 11⁄2 tablespoons cornflour
For The Sauce
- 2 teaspoons chilli paste or chilli bean paste
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice wine
- Slice the onion and red pepper into fine matchsticks and the chicken into 3cm-wide strips. Put the chicken into a small mixing bowl, add the marinade ingredients and, using your hands, massage the pieces until they are evenly coated.
- Finely chop the garlic and bird’s-eye chilli, and finely slice your spring onion. Crush the Sichuan peppercorns with a mortar and pestle. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl or ramekin.
BUILD YOUR WOK CLOCK:
- Place your sliced onion at 12 o’clock, then arrange the peppers, dried chillies, chicken bowl, crushed peppercorns, garlic, bird’s-eye chilli, sauce bowl, cashew nuts and spring onions clockwise around your plate.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over a high heat until smoking-hot. Add the onions, red peppers and dried red chillies and stir-fry for 1─2 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned and slightly softened.
- Reduce the heat to medium (so as not to burn the onions), push the veg to the side of the wok and add 1⁄2 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the centre.
- Bring the wok back to smoking point, add the chicken and stir-fry 3─5 minutes until golden brown on all sides.
- Lower the heat to medium, add the crushed peppercorns and garlic to the wok and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes, then add the bird’s-eye chilli and sauce and continue to stir-fry over a medium-high heat for another 2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced and is sticking to the chicken.
- Add the cashew nuts and cook for a final 30─60 seconds, tossing the wok to combine all the ingredients well. Tip onto a large plate and scatter over the spring onion to finish. Serve.
‘SWAPSIES’: Can’t find Sichuan peppercorns? Swap them out with a mix of crushed juniper berries and chilli flakes.
TIP: If you’re a keen chilli eater and fancy something with a little more punch then throw in a mixture of different types of chillies here: dried or fresh, whatever you can get your hands on.