BANG BANG CHICKEN
One of China’s most beloved foods, Bang Bang Chicken from Sichuan, has just been added to our repertoire. This meal has been completely reimagined by numerous chefs over the years, but this recipe is our attempt to bring it back to its original shape!
When it comes to real “bang bang chicken,” what is the difference?
As a rule, Bang Bang Chicken is served with chopped chicken and slices of cucumber. If you’ve seen several Americanized versions of this on the internet, this isn’t one of them. It’s fried chicken with mayonnaise on top. This is not Bang Bang Chicken, even if it is good.
In Chinese, “ji” (chicken) implies “bang bang,” but what does that mean? Bang,, is the Chinese word for “instrument” and refers to something that is used for striking, beating, or smashing.
So what’s the point of “Bang Bang”ing the chicken? Just as with Italian sauces, choosing the proper pasta shape aids in greater absorption by the chicken. A rolling pin is what we’ll be using. If you’re using boneless chicken, the hammering will only help loosen the meat’s texture so that it can better attach to the delectable sauce. If you’re using whole or bone-in chicken, the hammering will help cut through the bones.
As a bonus, Bang Bang Chicken isn’t deep-frosted. On the contrary, it’s poached in order to catch the chicken’s distinct aroma and offer the perfect canvas for the spicy sauce that goes on top. These recipes and others like our White Cut Chicken and Bai Qie Ji will hopefully change your mind about poached chicken.
I like chicken thighs than chicken breasts because they have a more robust taste, but we’ve used chicken breasts in this recipe to keep things easy. Whole chickens are still commonly used in restaurants in order to produce more soft, juicy meat.
In terms of the sauce, Sichuan cuisine is known for its spiciness and powerful flavor. So, of course, there’s going to be a lot of sauce in this dish because of the unusual poaching procedure used in Sichuan cuisine. Sweet, acidic, spicy, and savory tastes are well-balanced in this bang bang chicken sauce.
As an appetizer or side dish, Bang Bang Chicken is an excellent choice. Then there’s this: double the sauce and chop up the other half of the cucumber for a quick, light lunch for two. Alternatively, you could make a larger portion of the sauce and serve it on top of noodles. Enjoy!
- 1/2 pound chicken breast
- 3 slices ginger
- 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons of Chinese black vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of ground Sichuan peppercorn
- 1 finely chopped scallion
- 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
- ½ julienned seedless cucumber
- ½ cup of chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon of chili oil
- 1½ tablespoons of sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- Poach the chicken first. Add 2 cups of water, 3 slices of ginger, and a scallion to a small pot. Then add the chicken breasts and bring it to a boil. Put on the lid and lower the heat to its lowest setting when the water returns to a boil. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes.
- With a chopstick, probe the middle of the chicken breast to check for doneness. In order to keep the meat wet, place the chicken breasts in an ice bath. The cooking water should not be thrown away because it will be used in another step of the procedure.
- Second, put the plate together. Spread a thin layer of cucumber on a shallow platter and julienne it. With a rolling pin, pound the chicken to flatten the meat and shred it into bite-sized pieces. On top of the cucumber, place the chicken.
- The sauce is the final step, so start with that. The following should be put together: 1/2 cup chicken stock, 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 4 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, 112 tablespoons sesame oil, 1 tablespoon chili oil, 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, and 2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions.
- Serve the chicken and cucumbers with the sauce on top. Just before serving, toss the chicken and cucumber with the sauce.