2 cups dark meat chicken, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
4 cups vegetable oil
½ cup bean curd paste (available at Asian markets)
6 small cloves garlic, whole (or larger cloves, halved)
3 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon red Sichuan peppercorns
1 cup dried red chilies
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon MSG (optional)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon peppercorn oil
1 teaspoon red chili oil
1 tablespoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
1 tablespoon cilantro for garnish
- In a small bowl, combine chicken cubes with egg, salt, and cornstarch. Mix well and set aside.
- Working with a preheated wok, coat wok with ½ cup oil, then add remaining oil. Heat until oil is very hot. Add chicken and fry until slightly golden brown, about 2–3 minutes, moving chicken around constantly.
- Transfer cooked chicken to a metal strainer. Filter out and reserve remaining oil.
- Coat wok with reserved hot oil. Add bean curd paste and cook until paste is fully sizzling. Add garlic, scallions, red Sichuan peppercorns, and red chilies. Stir-fry for 30-60 seconds over medium heat, until garlic is browned. If mixture is really thickening up before garlic has browned, add a bit of water to loosen it.
- Turn up heat to high and add fried chicken cubes. Add sugar, MSG, sesame oil, peppercorn oil, red chili oil, red chili powder, and soy sauce. Combine all ingredients until all seasoning is fully combined, about 1 minute.
- Plate immediately, adding sesame seeds and cilantro for garnish. Serve with rice.