Bang Bang Chicken
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One thing is for certain when it comes to Bang Bang Chicken; the name lives up to the dish! If you like things a little spicy then you are in for a treat with this dish because Bang Bang Chicken is hot! Put a spoonful of this delicious food into your mouth and it goes Bang Bang! I’m sure that has to be the origins of the naming of this dish, because it’s spot on!

Now there is honestly nothing to be fearful about this dish if you don’t love spice. The reason being is the way it is prepared allows you to completely control how much spice each individual plates get. The spice in Bang Bang Chicken is all in the sauce, which is plated at the very end before service. So don’t like things too hot, just keep the sauce lean

If you love things hot though, then we highly recommend heaping as much sauce on as you can! The sauces flavor is simply phenomenal. Rich with spice, sweet, and salty flavors that marry perfectly with this delicious poached Chicken Breast

Bang Bang Chicken inspired
This Bang Bang Chicken recipe is inspired by a wonderful dish served at a famous restaurant in Melbourne, Australia

The Memorable first time we ate Bang Bang Chicken

We distinctly remember the first time we ate this dish – it was at one of our favorite restaurants in Melbourne called Dainty Sichuan. This restaurant specializes in Szechuan cuisine, which is a province in Southwest China. Back in 2010 or so when we first ate this dish, Szechuan food was nowhere near as popular as it was now. So their amazing blend of spicy cuisine using the famous Szechuan Pepper was truly a taste-bud altering experience! This restaurant did an amazing version of Bang Bang Chicken which is what our recipe is inspired by

How to make the perfect Bang Bang Chicken

There are two main steps in making Bang Bang Chicken. The first is preparing the Cold Chicken. The second is making that fiery, spicy sauce. The great news is that both of these preparations are so easy to do. In fact, other than boiling some water, there’s really no ‘cooking’ involved in the dish at all!

We Poach the Chicken to get it beautiful and tender

Perhaps a less common method of cooking Chicken is poaching. It is one of our favorite ways to cook Chicken, particularly Chicken Breast, as it keeps the Chicken beautifully tender. Sometimes Chicken Breast has the habit of drying out, but not when it’s poached. We’ve used the poaching technique to great success in our Mexican Chicken recipe, and we do so here too!

To create the poaching liquid, combine Salt and 4 slices of fresh Ginger in about 3 cups of boiling water in a medium sized saucepan. The fresh Ginger adds a lovely, subtle flavor and aroma to the Chicken. You can also add some Peppercorns for a little bit more spice to the dish, it’s totally optional

Drop the Chicken into the boiling water, ensuring it is fully submerged. Then, cover and turn off the heat, but keep the lid on. Let the Chicken sit for 30 minutes in the pot. The residual heat from the boiling water will slowly poach the Chicken. After 30 minutes, remove the Chicken and set aside to cool

Once the Chicken is cool enough, break it apart into long strands. The best method is to use two forks and scrape the flesh away. You’ll be left with the most wonderful, tender strips of Chicken. Leave the Chicken to cool. You can refrigerate it if you like, as this is a dish that is served cold

Bang Bang Chicken elements
There are two key elements to Bang Bang Chicken. Perfectly poached Chicken and a fiery, spicy, Szechuan Sauce!

Make the fiery Bang Bang Chicken Sauce

No cooking is required to make the sauce. You simply need to add the ingredients into a bowl and mix well to combine. That’s the kind of sauce we like making!

The ingredients in the sauce are a mixture of classic, and unique Asian ingredients. The sauce consists of classic ingredients such as oy Sauce, Vinegar, Sugar, Sesame Paste, and Sesame Seeds. Along with these ingredients it’s time to bring the heat! We add Chili Crisps, Chili Oil, and Szechuan Peppercorns to turn this subtle sauce into a fiery red Bang Bang sauce!

Szechuan Peppercorns are the star ingredient in Bang Bang Chicken

Szechuan Pepper has it’s own completely unique flavor profile which leaves a spicy and ‘tingly’ sensation on your tongue. It is somewhat hard to describe but it is somewhat of a numbing sensation, where your tongue feels on fire, completely alive, yet also subdued at the same time. It’s phenomenal, and is what makes this dish unique

Bang Bang Chicken side view
Firey Hot and delicious. This Bang Bang Chicken hits the spot!

If your local supermarket doesn’t have any Szechuan Pepper in stock then head to an Asian Grocery store if you have one nearby as they’ll be sure to stock it

Assembling the dish

Assembling the dish is very easy. We recommend plating individual portions of Bang Bang Chicken. Add a generous portion of the pulled Chicken into a bowl and then drizzle over some of the spicy sauce. We’d recommend adding just a little bit of sauce to start and serve the remainder in a bowl on the side. The last thing you want is to over spice the dish for someone! People can add more sauce as they please based on their spice tolerance

For some added color, flavor, and texture, finish the dish off by sprinkling over some freshly chopped Cilantro and Peanuts. They add a lovely texture to the dish, and add some nice color and vibrancy to the dish

This dish is served cold so it’s always a good idea to prepare the dish ahead and keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to eat. The dish can keep for a few days in the refrigerator too so make plenty and store some for later!

Recipe Details

Servings

4 people

Prep time

15 minutes

Cooking time

30 minutes

Total time

45 minutes

Bang Bang Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Chicken Breast
  • 4 slices of Ginger
  • 1 tsp. Sesame Seeds
  • ½ cup Chili Crisp in Oil
  • 2 tbsp. White Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Black Chinese Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp. Chinese Sesame Paste (or substitute with Tahini)
  • 2 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 2 tsp. Chili Oil
  • 1 tsp. Szechuan Peppercorns, toasted and ground
  • ¼ cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup Peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. Salt

Instructions

  1. Poach Chicken by boiling 3 cups of water in a medium sized saucepan. Add the Salt and Ginger to the water then add the Chicken, fully submerging it in. You can add more water if necessary. Bring back to boil, cover then turn off the heat
  2. Leave the Chicken to poach for approximately 30 minutes, until the Chicken is tender and can be shredded. Drain and set aside to cool
  3. Once the Chicken has cooled you can easily shred into pieces. Just tear the Chicken away across its natural fibers
  4. To make the sauce, combine the Chili Crisp, Chili Oil, Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds, Szechuan Peppercorns, Vinegar, Sugar, Soy Sauce, Sesame Paste into a bowl and mix well
  5. To serve it is best to combine the Chicken and Sauce to individual serving plates based on the level of spice desired. This is quite a spicy dish so we would recommend starting with a little less sauce then add more as you taste
  6. Finish each plate with Cilantro and Peanuts and serve with steamed Jasmine Rice

Bang Bang Chicken Chili Oil
The key to a great Bang Bang Chicken lies within this delicious Szechuan Chili Oil. We recommend serving some on the side so people can add as much heat to their dish as they like

Thank you for checking out this recipe and we hope you enjoyed making this awesome Bang Bang Chicken dish! We here at Dinnertime Somewhere and have plenty more awesome dishes from that region of the globe. Here’s a few of our favorites we’d love you to try:

Happy Cooking!

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