How To Make Bang Bang Chicken

How To Make Bang Bang Chicken

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Bang bang chicken is a great meal for a warm night, a refreshing Sichuanese cold dish that combines vibrantly contrasting flavors from a tangy sesame dressing, chicken, cucumbers and bean thread noodles. This dish’s unique flavors and textures makes it a perfect way to provide variety during a week of Chinese meals or a multi-course Chinese dinner.

The key to this dish is the sesame dressing, which is then allowed to soak into tendrils of finely shredded chicken. The dressing contains heat from the Sichuan peppercorns and chili sauce, acid from the black rice vinegar, nuttiness from the sesame paste and vibrancy from the garlic and ginger. If chain restaurants used this as one of their dressings, perhaps then I could get behind more of their “Chinese-style salads.”

Once you’ve prepared a killer dressing, the rest is easy. Raw cucumbers and bean thread noodles give the meal a bit more heft, as well as provide interesting textural counterpoints to the dressing and shredded chicken. Dish it up and serve as the perfect hearty lunch or light dinner.

Here’s how to make bang bang chicken, step-by-step. The detailed tutorial with pictures and directions is at the bottom of the page.

Your turn! What tips can you share from your family’s recipe? Want to ask a question before you start cooking? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!


Bang Bang Chicken Recipe

Makes: 4-6 Servings | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

1 large cucumber
1 teaspoon salt
1 ounce bean thread noodles
1 teaspoon sesame oil
9 ounces shredded cooked chicken
2 green onions, green parts only

Sesame Dressing
1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
3 garlic cloves
3/4 inch piece of ginger
1/2 teaspoon chili sauce
3 tablespoons sesame paste
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
1 tablespoon Chinese black rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons chicken stock

Directions

1. Slice the cucumbers lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut each half crossways into thirds, then cut each piece lengthwise into thin slices. Place the slices in a bowl with the salt, toss lightly, and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Pour out the accumulated water.

2. Toast the Sichuan peppercorns over medium heat for 7-8 minutes. Cool, then crush into a powder.

3. Combine the garlic, ginger, chili sauce, sesame paste, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, sugar, Sichuan peppercorn powder and chicken stock in a blender. Blend until the dressing becomes smooth with a heavy cream consistency. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

4. Soak the noodles in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain and cut into 3 inch lengths. Blanch the noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain, plunge into cold water and drain a final time. Toss the noodles in the sesame oil and arrange on a large platter.

5. Arrange the cucumber slices and chicken shreds on top of the noodles. Finally, pour the dressing on top and sprinkle with chopped green onions. Serve immediately.


Step-By-Step Tutorial

Start by gathering your ingredients. The important items for this recipe are shredded chicken, green onions, a large cucumber, sesame paste and bean thread noodles. The Sichuan peppercorns are optional, as they may be difficult to find, and you can substitute smooth peanut butter and rice noodles, if sesame paste and bean thread noodles are unavailable.

Slice the cucumbers lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut each half crossways into thirds, then cut each piece lengthwise into thin slices. Place the slices in a bowl with the salt, toss lightly, and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Pour out the accumulated water.

Toast the Sichuan peppercorns over medium heat for 7-8 minutes. Cool, then crush into a powder.

Combine the garlic, ginger, chili sauce, sesame paste, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, sugar, Sichuan peppercorn powder and chicken stock in a blender. Blend until the dressing becomes smooth with a heavy cream consistency. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

Soak the noodles in hot water for 10 minutes.

Drain and cut into 3 inch lengths.

Blanch the noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain, plunge into cold water and drain a final time. Toss the noodles in the sesame oil and arrange on a large platter.

Pull apart the cooked chicken into finely shredded pieces.

Arrange the cucumber slices and chicken shreds on top of the noodles.

Pour the dressing on top and sprinkle with chopped green onions. Serve immediately.

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