Sichuan Bang Bang Chicken is a version of the classic Chinese street food that's nothing like the deep-fried or chain restaurant interpretation. You'll find this one much healthier with simply poached chicken and cucumber in a spicy, nutty sauce for a light, flavorful summery meal for two!
The inspiration behind this recipe:
Who hasn't had a chain restaurant bang bang this or a bang bang that? Truth be told, Bang Bang Shrimp is one of our favorites to order when we eat at Bonefish Grill. I thought they created the name and called their shrimp appetizer that because it was spicy.
So, when I was going through some old food magazines a friend gave me and found this Bang Bang Chicken recipe that was nothing like the chain restaurant version, it piqued my interest. The magazine was so old as to be published before numerous chain restaurants were even in existence!
What is Bang Bang Chicken?
The authentic Sichuan version is considered "street food." After poaching the chicken, vendors would then use batons or other sticks to shred the meat. The beating (bang bang) process is also intended to make the chicken extremely tender.
Traditional Bang Bang Chicken is served over cucumbers with scallion in a nutty, sweet and spicy sauce that explodes with flavor!
How to make Sichuan Bang Bang Chicken:
- Start by poaching a couple of chicken breasts in hot, simmering water for 12 to 15 minutes or until no longer pink and thoroughly cooked through.
- Let the chicken cool, then shred it by hand or with a couple of forks. You can always take a rolling pin or mallet and beat the chicken the way it is traditionally done, but it's messy.
- Then, cut up the cucumber. Here's how I like to do it:
- Using a vegetable peeler, partially peel the cucumber, leaving some of the peel intact for color.
- Quarter lengthwise then stagger the cucumber quarters.
- Slice the cucumber quarters on the diagonal to create this unique shape.
- Feel free to julienne or slice it any way you please!
- Place the cucumber on a platter and toss in some scallion.
- Mix up the amazing sauce!
- Minced garlic
- Minced ginger
- Smooth peanut butter
- Soy sauce
- Toasted (dark) sesame oil
- Rice vinegar
- Crushed red pepper flakes or chile-garlic sauce
- Toss it with the chicken then pour it over the cucumbers and scallion.
- Garnish with sesame seeds...
For a super easy, spicy, delicious, summery meal for two! SO GOOD!
For more great Asian recipes, try my:
- Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad
- Vietnamese Chicken Salad
- Spicy Asian Pork Cabbage Rolls
- Japanese Beef and Shishito Pepper Skewers
- Vietnamese Beef Lettuce Wraps with Rice Noodles and Cucumber Relish
- Korean Braised Chicken Thighs
Sichuan Bang Bang Chicken
- 1 large or 2 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 English cucumber - or 2 medium Persian cucumbers
- 2 scallions - white and light green part only, thinly sliced diagonally
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes - or chili garlic sauce, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Place the chicken breast in the boiling water, reduce heat to medium-low and gently poach for 12-15 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain and cool.
- Meanwhile, slice the cucumbers lengthwise and remove any seeds. Thinly slice diagonally and place on a platter or serving plate.
- Scatter the scallion over the cucumbers.
- MAKE THE SAUCE: Combine garlic, ginger, water, peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar and crushed red pepper flakes or chile-garlic sauce in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Shred the chicken and add it to the sauce.
- Place the chicken and sauce over the cucumbers.
- Garnish with sesame seeds.
- Toss the chicken with the cucumbers, serve on plates garnished with additional sesame seeds.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
Karen Viva-Haynes says
What can I use instead of peanut butter?
Hi, Karen, Thanks so much for your great question! Have you ever tried SunButter? It's made from sunflower seeds and is a great substitute for people with peanut or other tree allergies. You could also try tahini but you may need to adjust the flavor balance with a little more sugar or honey. Thanks again and hope this helps!