Arik and Philippe discovered this warm salad during a Sunday class at a Chinese cooking school. Arik was only 8 or 9 years old at the time; he begged to be let into the adult class. The teacher, a stern old Chinese man, gave his blessing. Arik's interest and effort won the respect of the other students that first class. On Sunday evenings, the boys made the meal - while practicing their lessons - for the ladies of the house. Over the years, the recipe has evolved but the name remains the same: Wonderful. Like good memories!
- 2 Tbsp sherry or vermouth
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tsp Tianjin Preserved Vegetable
- Salt pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp ginger, sliced
- 4 scallions
Place chicken in a deep plate that will fit in a wok or pot. Season with marinade. Let marinate 30 minutes (if you have time). Place plate on a steamer over boiling water. Cover the wok or pot and cook for 30 minutes.
Make sure chicken is cooked (with a small knife). Meat should be white without a trace of pink. Cook for a few more minutes, if needed.
While chicken is cooking, cut daikon and carrot into 3-inch juliennes. Place in a bowl, salt and mix. Let stand.
Place chicken on a plate; discard ginger and scallions.
Strain chicken juices into a small pot. There should be about one cup of juice; add water if needed.
Bring to a boil and incorporate honey, vinegar, chile, Sichuan peppercorn and sesame oil. Incorporate tahini; stir continuously. Dressing should be velvety and creamy. Thicken with more tahini or dilute with a little water if needed. Add garlic, then taste; add salt or vinegar to your plate.
Place watercress on a large plate. Rinse and drain the carrot and daikon on a paper towel; place on the watercress. Shred chicken with two forks. Place on top of vegetables.
Pour dressing over chicken. Slice cucumber and place around the plate. Decorate with scallions, sesame, nigella and cilantro.