The original Chinese recipe is called Szechuan (Sichuan) Pork, so named probably because one of the primary ingredients of the dish is Sichuan peppercorns. I’ve used the same basic recipe for pork, fish, and chicken and they were all good. I have to warn you though that I never used Sichuan peppercorns because I have not discovered where I can buy them.
To describe this dish, it is deep-fried slices of starch-dredged pork, fish, or chicken tossed in hoisin sauce and toasted sesame seeds. If served immediately, the crust of the pork, fish, or chicken pieces is crunchy while the overall texture is thick and sticky because of the hoisin sauce. Add to that the sudden bursts of flavor from the sesame seeds and the result is delicious.
Toast the sesame seeds in an oil-free pan. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Start heating the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. Cut the chicken into thin slices by holding the knife at a 45 angle. Place in a bowl. Pour in the soy sauce and season with pepper. Mix well, working the soy sauce into the meat with your hands. Add the starch or flour and mix to coat each piece.
When the oil is hot (it should be smoking but not profusely), deep fry the chicken pieces in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan to make sure that the oil stays hot enough to allow a crust to form on the outside of the chicken pieces. Remove each piece as it cooks and drain on a stack of paper towels.
When the chicken is done, pour off all the oil from the frying pan or wok. Wipe the surface clean with a kitchen or paper towel. Return to the stove and set the heat to medium. Pour in the hoisin sauce, spreading it as thinly as you can. When the hoisin sauce is hot (watch it at this stage because hoisin sauce burns fast), add the chicken pieces and toss quickly to distribute the sauce as evenly as possible. Add the toasted sesame seeds and toss again. Transfer to a serving platter and serve at once.