Bang bang chicken, or Bon bon chicken, or Strange flavour chicken, is a popular chicken dish originated from Szechuen. It’s basically poached chicken with cucumber mixed with a spicy, tangy sesame sauce, topped with spring onions and chillies, served cold.
The name strange flavour chicken will probably put you off if you ever see that on a menu, but it’s really quite a good description of the taste of the sauce. It’s sweet, sour, spicy, rich and smooth… very hard to explain until you tried it!
It’s also a very easy dish to make, and most importantly of all, you can prepare way ahead of serving and still tastes amazing!
- 4 Chicken thigh fillets
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing Rice wine
- 1 spring onion (flatten the white part a bit with your knife)
- 2 slices of ginger
- ⅓ of a cucumber
- ½ tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1.5 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame paste / tahini
- ½ tbsp chilli oil
- ¼ tsp sesame oil (optional)
- Marinate the chicken with Shaoxing wine for 20-30 minutes.
- Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, put in the ginger and spring onion, and then the chicken fillets.
- Simmer without the lid on for 15 - 20 mins until it's cooked.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining sugar and vinegar, and then tip in all the rest of the sauce ingredients, mix until incorporated.
- Fish the chicken out, left to cool and reserve the cooking liquid! You've got yourself a bowl of oriental flavour stock.
- When cooled, cut the chicken into long stripes, and cut the cucumber into long stripes too. (You can put the chicken and cucumber away in the fridge now, if you're making ahead)
- To assemble the dish, arrange the chicken on a plate, topped with cucumber and drizzle the sauce over.
- Serve cold and enjoy!