Light Bites / Salad And Dressings

Sichuan Ma La Chicken & Grain Salad


2 chicken thighs

1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine

2 spring onions

1 thumb sized piece ginger

1 tsp sea salt

Pearl Barley—Soaked and boiled through

The Sauce

2 garlic cloves, smashed with cleaver

½ finely chopped spring onion

1 tbsp sichuan pepper oil

2 tbsp Ching Kiang black rice vinegar

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

pinch of salt

Finely chopped coriander


toasted sesame seeds

The Chilli Oil

2 tbsp chilli powder

1 tsp ground sichuan peppercorns

1 tsp Chinese five spice

1 tbsp sesame seeds

10 tbsp avocado oil

¼ thumb sized piece ginger

2 star anise

5 dried red sichuan chillies

2 bay leaves

Preparation & Cooking

The Chilli oil

Firstly, mix the ground Sichuan peppercorns, five spice powder and sesame seeds together in a small, heatproof bowl. Then place the bay leaves, ginger slices, star anise and dry red Sichuan chillies, into a wok or frying pan and pour the avocado oil over the spices and bring to a medium to high heat. Keep a sieve ready and then heat until smoking the oil is smoking hot. Once smoking hot, pour oil through a sieve, directly over the powder mixture in the small bowl. Set aside for later.

The Pearl Barley

Wash the pearl barley and then place in a saucepan with 2:1 ratio water to barley. Bring to a boil on a medium heat and then turn the heat down to a low simmer and boil for 30 minutes until softened. Drain through a sieve and set aside for later.

The Chicken

Place the chicken, spring onions, ginger and Shaoxing rice wine into a large pot and cover with enough water to cover the chicken and then cover with a lid. Heat the pan to a medium-heat and bring to boil. Boil for 8–10 minutes, then turn the heat off and leave with the lid on for a further 20 minutes.

Once the chicken is cooked through (but still succulent), place in a bowl of ice cold water and allow to cool. Shred the chicken or cut into chunks.

Now mix all ‘The sauce’ ingredients together and have the chilli oil ready to dress the salad. Lastly, toast some peanuts and white sesame seeds in a hot frying pan until lightly toasted and browned in colour. Once cooled, crush them ready for garnish. Dish up some pearl barley and place on a plate / bowl, then mix the sauce and chilli oil to your liking into the poached chicken pieces and then place over the pearl barley. Scatter with toasted peanuts and sesame seeds.