Ingredients:1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns
2½ tablespoons potato starch mixed with a little water
4 skinless Irish free-range chicken thighs, diced (350g)
Drizzle of Donegal rapeseed oil
4 cloves of garlic
5 cm piece of ginger
2 spring onions
6 dried red chillies
2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
½ tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 heaped tablespoon runny honey
Small handful of unsalted peanuts
1 punnet of salad cress
First the salad
- Using a speed-peeler, peel the cucumber and carrot (including the skin), until you have a pile of long, thin ribbons and place in a bowl.
- Pick and roughly chop most of the coriander leaves, discarding the stalks. Place it all into the bowl with the soy and rice wine vinegar. Toss well and set aside.
KONG PO CHICKEN
- Toast the Szechuan peppercorns in a dry frying pan until lightly golden. Transfer to a pestle and mortar, grind to a fine powder, then sieve into a large bowl, discarding any large, tough bits.
- Add 2 tablespoons of corn flour and stir to combine. Chop the chicken into bite-sized chunks, and then toss in the corn flour mixture to coat.
- Pour 2cm of oil into a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add the chicken and fry for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the garlic and ginger, then trim and finely slice the spring onions.
- using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken to a double layer of kitchen paper to drain. Carefully remove and discard most of the oil, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pan, then return to a medium heat.
- Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes, or until lightly golden, then stir in the spring onions and whole chillies and fry for 1 further minute.
- Meanwhile, combine ½ tablespoon of corn flour and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix in the soy, vinegar and honey, and then pour the mixture into the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes, or until slightly thickened.
- Lightly bash and add the peanuts, stir in the chicken, then toss well until warmed through. Scatter the reserved coriander leaves over the chicken, and then serve.