In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, vinegar, chile paste, and honey, if using. Set aside.
In a large deep skillet or wok, add canola to reach a depth of 1 ½ to 2 inches. Heat over medium-high heat until oil reaches 360.
Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Place in a medium bowl, and add cornstarch; toss to coat.
When oil reaches temperature, fry chicken in batches until light golden brown, about 3
minutes per batch. Remove from oil, and let drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve 1 tablespoon oil from skillet; discard remaining oil.
Reduce heat to medium. Add sesame oil to 1 tablespoon oil in pan; add garlic, ginger, chiles, and Szechuan peppercorns, if using. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add scallions and snow peas; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Return chicken to pan; add sauce, stirring to coat.
Serve over rice; garnish with sesame seeds and additional scallions, if desired.