bang-bang chicken
bang-bang chicken

Bang Bang Chicken, also known as Bon Bon Chicken or 棒棒鸡 (Bàng Bàng Jī) in Chinese, is a popular Sichuan dish that originated in the Sichuan province of China. It is known for its tender poached chicken, served cold, and typically features a flavorful and spicy sauce. Here’s how it’s typically prepared:

Chicken: The dish starts with poached chicken, usually boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs. The chicken is cooked in simmering water with aromatics like ginger and scallions until it’s cooked through. Then it’s cooled and sliced into bite-sized pieces.

Sauce: The signature element of Bang Bang Chicken is the sauce. The sauce is a mixture of various ingredients that create a harmonious balance of flavors. The key components often include:

Soy Sauce: For a salty umami flavor.
Sesame Paste or Peanut Butter: To add a creamy, nutty texture and flavor.
Chili Oil or Chili Paste: For spiciness and heat.
Sugar: To balance out the flavors with sweetness.
Vinegar: For a tangy element.
Sichuan Peppercorns: These provide a unique numbing and spicy sensation.
Garlic and Ginger: Adds aromatic and savory notes.
Sesame Seeds: For texture and nutty flavor.
Scallions: Chopped scallions are often used as a garnish and for freshness.
Mixing: The sauce ingredients are combined and mixed thoroughly to create a rich, flavorful sauce.

Serving: The sliced chicken is then placed on a plate and generously drizzled with the sauce. Sometimes, additional garnishes like chopped cilantro or crushed peanuts are added for extra flavor and texture.

The name “Bang Bang Chicken” is said to come from the traditional preparation method, where the chicken is pounded or “banged” with a wooden stick or a rolling pin to loosen the meat fibers and enhance its tenderness.

This dish is known for its balance of flavors and textures, combining the tenderness of the chicken with the boldness of the spicy, nutty, and savory sauce. It’s a popular appetizer or cold dish in Chinese cuisine, particularly in Sichuan restaurants, and it’s enjoyed for its unique combination of tastes and textures.

Bang Bang Chicken

Prepare time: 10 min
Cook: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min



  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chili-garlic sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne or use smoked paprika for a milder version
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 pound chicken breast chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or use milk
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper use smoked paprika for a milder version or use both!
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • FOR GARNISH: Fresh chopped parsley spicy chili flakes



1Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.


2Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, or serve right away.



1Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a wide pot to 375 degrees F. Do not let the oil boil. If you do not have a thermometer, test the oil with a tiny drop of flour. It will immediately sizzle up.

2Next, add the chicken and buttermilk to a large bowl. Toss to coat the chicken. Soak for a few minutes while the oil is heating.


3Whisk together then cornstarch, cayenne (or paprika) and a bit of salt and pepper into a separate large bowl.


4Drain the chicken and shake off any excess buttermilk. Coat the chicken in the seasoned cornstarch mixture, then fry them for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are cooked through and start to lightly brown.

5Remove and drain the chicken on paper towels.


6Toss the chicken with the bang bang sauce then garnish with fresh parsley and spicy chili flakes.