Dinner Tonight: Chicken with Sichuan Peppercorn Paste Recipe

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Dinner Tonight: Chicken with Sichuan Peppercorn Paste Recipe

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Sichuan peppercorns. I love the numbing sensation on the lips they provide. I'm guilty of picking recipes solely because they contain Sichuan peppercorns. Still, this recipe from Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking also proves that the Sichuan peppercorns can play well with others, and don't always need to hog the flavor limelight. In this complex sauce, they only pop up at the end to entice you to eat more.

Sure, this recipe contains a few more ingredients than the average Dinner Tonight column, but some are repeats, and the actual recipe couldn't be easier. Essentially you just toss everything into a bowl, mix in the shredded chicken, and you're good to go. No burners, no woks, and no mess.

It's a great meal, especially if you have the roast chicken all ready to go.

  • Yield:4 people
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:20 minutes


  • 1 small roasted chicken, about 3 ½ pounds, skin removed, meat removed from bones
  • 2 cups iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
  • For the Sichuan Peppercorn Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • For the Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 2 ½ tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seed paste (you can substitute tahini)
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil
  • ¼ cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. 1.

    Using your fingers, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. You should have about 2 cups. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    Place all the ingredients for the Sichuan peppercorn paste in a mortar and pestle and crush until it is a coarse puree. Alternatively, you could place the ingredients in a small food processor and puree them.

  3. 3.

    Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a medium-sized bowl. Add the Sichuan peppercorn paste and stir well. Add chicken and toss well.

  4. 4.

    Place the chicken in the middle of a large plate. Ring with the sliced iceberg lettuce.