Clay bowl chicken

Clay bowl chicken

Bo bo ji

By
From
Every Grain of Rice
Photographer
Chris Terry

In rural Sichuan, earthenware bowls are commonly used both for steaming food and for serving. Steamed dishes such as belly pork with dark mustard greens, and sweet glutinous rice with red bean paste, were once the centrepieces of wedding and funeral feasts. Nowadays, you’ll find old-fashioned steaming bowls used to give a rustic touch to restaurant dishes. (The delightful-sounding Chinese name of this dish, for example, is because the bo, or bozi, of the bo bo ji means a rough earthenware bowl, and ji is chicken.) Like other Sichuanese cold chicken dishes, this is easy to make but extravagantly delicious. The crunch of the peanuts and the fresh, urgent pungency of the coriander are a pleasing contrast to the silky chicken.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
100g beansprouts, (optional)
200g chicken, cooked and cold
25g Roasted and fried peanuts
3 tablespoons spring onion greens, finely sliced
small handful fresh coriander, chopped

For the sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon light or tamari soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
2 teaspoons sesame paste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground roasted sichuan pepper, to taste
4-5 tablespoons chilli oil, with its sediment
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
salt, to taste
1 tablespoon stock
or 1 tablespoon water

Method

  1. Toast the sesame seeds gently in a dry wok or frying pan for a few minutes, until they are fragrant and starting to turn golden, then tip into a dish. Blanch the beansprouts (if using) briefly in boiling water to wilt them, refresh under the cold tap, then shake and squeeze dry. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Pile the beansprouts in the centre of a serving bowl (an earthenware one, if you like). Cut or tear the chicken evenly into bite-sized strips and lay it over the beansprouts. Pour over the sauce, then scatter over the peanuts, sesame seeds, spring onions and coriander. Mix everything together before eating.
Tags:
Chinese
Sichuanese
Asian
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