Deliciously crispy chicken bites served with a zingy mayo and sweet chili sauce, bang bang chicken is a wonderfully tasty, quick, and easy meal.
It's one of those dishes that's so good it'll become an instant classic in your kitchen.
Why you'll love this bang bang chicken recipe
- Quick and simple to make with minimal clean up
- The fried chicken is crispy and succulent, and the spicy dipping sauce is incredible!
- It's a versatile recipe that can be tweaked to your tastes
There are a few items you'll need to make this bang bang chicken recipe:
How to make bang bang chicken
Mix the mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce, honey, sriracha and gojuchang in bowl until smooth.
Your bang bang sauce is now ready!
Now you need to prepare the crispy fried chicken pieces.
Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and place on a plate. Pour the panko breadcrumbs into another large bowl.
Dunk the chicken pieces into the buttermilk batter.
Make sure all of their surfaces get covered.
Next, dredge the chicken pieces into the panko. Drop into the hot oil and fry until crispy and golden brown.
Repeat frying the chicken in batches until everything is cooked. Drizzle with bang bang sauce and sprinkle with chopped spring onions. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Make sure the oil is hot enough in order to achieve that wonderful crispy texture.
What to serve with bang bang chicken
Salads make for the perfect pairing with bang bang chicken.
Speaking of salads, do you have a favourite salad? I can imagine an excellent pairing with the smashed cucumber salad.
A full-bodied red would be ideal. Something like a Pinot Noir would be perfect.
If you prefer white wine, go for a dry wine, like an oaked Chardonnay.
Variations to this recipe
- Baked Version: For a healthier version, bake the coated chicken on a wire rack at 425°F (220°C) until crispy, about 15-20 minutes, instead of frying.
- Spicy Kick: Add more hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper in the coating for extra heat.
- Asian Flavors: Add a teaspoon of sesame oil to the buttermilk mixture and sprinkle sesame seeds over the finished dish for an Asian twist.
- Herb Infusion: Add dried herbs like thyme, oregano, or Italian seasoning to the breadcrumb mixture for added flavor.
- Cheesy Crust: Mix grated Parmesan cheese with the breadcrumbs for a cheesy crust.
- Lemon Zest: Add lemon zest to the breadcrumb mixture for a fresh, citrusy flavor.
- Sauce Variations: Experiment with different sauces like soy sauce, honey mustard, barbecue sauce, or a yogurt-based dip for variety.
- Chicken: Instead of breast meat, use boneless chicken thighs for juicier meat. For a vegetarian option, try firm tofu or cauliflower.
- Buttermilk: If you don't have buttermilk, mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- All-Purpose Flour: Gluten-free flour blends can be used for a gluten-free version.
- Cornstarch: Arrowroot powder or potato starch can be alternatives.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed gluten-free cereal.
- Vegetable Oil: Canola or peanut oil are good substitutes for frying due to their high smoke points.
- Hot Sauce: Adjust the type and amount of hot sauce based on your heat preference. You can use milder sauces for less heat.
What is bang bang chicken?
It's a type of Asian street food consisting of crispy, lightly spiced fried chicken and a dipping sauce that mixes mayonnaise and sweet chili.
Traditionally, bang bang chicken uses chicken that has been tenderized with a mallet.
Where does bang bang chicken come from?
It originated as a popular street food in the Sichuan province of China. Some foodie fanatics have traced it back to the town of Hang Yang Ba, where it's thought to have been invented in the early 20th century.
The story goes that Bang Bang chicken was discovered by a talented and rather curious chef who got bored of making soups. The art of soup mixing was a very honourable talent.
This chef found a way to use chicken in a way that made the broth more powerful and intense in flavour. So, he cut the entire chicken into thin pieces. This was also advantageous, as chicken was an expensive commodity back then. This way, it could be sold per piece.
After a while, his new soup with chicken slices became popular. The chef cut the chicken into even thin slices by beating the chicken first with a stick.
Back then and today, bang bang chicken was known as bon bon chicken and remains a prevalent dish in China.
Why is it called bang bang chicken?
A popular myth says that the name bang bang comes from the sound of tenderizing the meat by pounding it.
That's a cool explanation, but it's not true! The real reason for the name 'bang bang chicken' is that it's named after the Chinese word for stick, bàng. This refers to the wooden stick traditionally used to tenderize the meat.
How do you tenderize chicken?
The best way to beat chicken breast is with a mallet. Make sure you spread the chicken on a hard or wooden surface. Don’t use plastic or tin foil underneath. The mallet will tear these easily.
Spread the chicken evenly, and start applying pressure with the mallet. Beat the chicken breast until you get an even thickness. Double-check for inconsistencies.
How do you tenderize chicken without a mallet?
Haven’t you got a mallet at home? Not a problem. This time, you can use plastic. First, find a skillet in your kitchen. Wrap the bottom half. Then, place the chicken breast on an even surface and cover it with plastic. Finally, smack the chicken until you get your desired result.
It's a thick red chilli paste from Korea. It's like a mesmerizing mix of sriracha and miso, a blend of heat, richness, and sweetness that tastes wonderful.
Can you cook bang bang chicken in an air fryer?
Yes, you can. It won't be as crispy as frying the chicken in hot oil, but you can cook bang-bang chicken in an air fryer.
How do you store bang bang chicken?
Short-Term Storage: Place the chicken in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic or aluminum foil. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Sauce: Store the Bang Bang sauce in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator. It should also last 3-4 days.
Cooling: Allow the cooked chicken to cool to room temperature before storing. This prevents condensation inside the container, which can make the chicken soggy.
Can you freeze bang bang chicken?
Freeze Separately: If you need to store the chicken for longer, it can be frozen. Freeze the chicken and sauce in separate airtight containers or freezer bags.
Label and Date: Mark the date on the containers or bags to track how long they have been in the freezer.
Freezer Life: The chicken can last up to 2-3 months in the freezer. However, consuming it within a month is recommended for the best quality.
How do you reheat bang bang chicken?
Refrigerated Chicken: Reheat in an oven or toaster oven at 375°F (190°C) until heated. This helps to maintain crispiness. Microwaving is not recommended as it can make the coating soggy.
Frozen Chicken: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. You can use the microwave's defrost setting for a quick thaw, but please be careful not to start cooking it.
Sauce: Let the spicy sauce come to room temperature, or gently warm it in a microwave if it's too thick after refrigeration.
Always check for signs of spoilage before consuming leftovers, especially if they have been stored for a few days. If the chicken or sauce smells off or shows any signs of mold, it's best to discard it.
More amazing Chinese recipes
Got a taste for more magnificent Chinese-style recipes? Try these on for size!
- Beef chow mein – a stir fry classic, mastering this authentic Chinese dish is a must
- Orange peel chicken – a quick easy meal that packs in a lot of flavor
- Salt and pepper chips – Crispy fries with onions, chili, and peppers, sprinkled with the oh-so-delicious salt and pepper seasoning. This Chinese classic is a firm family favorite!
- Tofu in black bean sauce – authentic, healthy and full of flavour
- Crispy chilli beef – this Chinese takeaway favourite is melt-in-your-mouth fantastic and very easy to make at home
- Salt and pepper spring rolls – easy to prepare and makes for a great starter