Taiwanese three cup chicken and smashed cucumber salad
( SERVES 2 )
Frederick Sy cooks pan-Asian for Nicky Pellegrino. The name “three cup chicken” comes from the three key ingredients: sesame oil, Chinese rice wine, and soy sauce. "Cups" refer to the equal ratio of the three instead of a literal measurement.
|1 bunch||Spring onion|
|5 cloves||Garlic, peeled and lightly crushed|
|1 piece||Ginger, thumb-size, peeled and sliced|
|2 Tbsp||Sesame oil|
|300 g||Boneless chicken thighs, cut into medium pieces|
|2 Tbsp||Shaoxing wine|
|2 Tbsp||Soy sauce, dark|
|10 g||Chinese rock sugar, or palm sugar (brown sugar can be used as a substitute)|
|1 cup||Thai basil leaves|
Three cup chicken
- Wash and dry spring onions and trim, separating the green leaves and white stalks. Cut the green leaves diagonally and reserve as garnish. Cut the stalks in half lengthwise.
- Using a large frying pan or wok stir fry garlic, ginger, and spring onion stalks in 1 Tbsp of the sesame oil over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Add chicken pieces and brown both sides of the meat.
- Add shao xing, soy sauce, remaining sesame oil, and sugar. Bring to a boil over low-medium heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, slowly reducing most of the liquid. The resulting sauce should be thick enough that it glazes the chicken pieces.
- Add basil and spring onion leaves and toss until basil wilts (approximately 20 seconds)
- Serve hot with steamed white rice and smashed cucumber salad
Smashed cucumber salad
- Trim off ends of cucumber. Using a mallet or something similar, carefully smash the cucumber then break the pieces by hand, discarding any clumps of seed.
- Put the smashed cucumber pieces in a bowl and add salt and sugar. Transfer to a colander and leave for a minimum of one hour to cure and drain.
- Put the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Add well-drained cucumber pieces and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.