Cooking with Chef Hermann: Spicy Stir Fried Cucumbers with Shredded Chicken

12 oz skinless, boneless, chicken breast cutlets, pounded 1/8 inch thick and very thinly sliced crosswise
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 Tbsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp baking soda
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp canola oil
12 dried red chiles, 10 left whole-2 stemmed and crumbled
1 lb seedless cucumbers, preferably Persian, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped cilantro sprigs
lemon wedges and steamed rice, for serving

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with half the garlic and ginger and the baking soda; season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, stir in the vinegar with the sugar and ¼ cup of water.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken and stir-fry over moderate heat, until the chicken is almost cooked through, 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the skillet along with the whole and crumbled dried chilies, cucumbers, vinegar mixture, and the remaining garlic and ginger; season with salt and pepper. Stir-fry over moderate heat until the cucumbers are softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, 3 minutes. Add the chicken and Serrano and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through, 1 minute. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges and rice.