Bang Bang (my baby shot me down) was by far one of the coolest song I’ve ever heard. When a cool song like that appeared in the OST of the coolest and bloodiest Quentin Tarantino’s movie, “Kill Bill” – that’s a pretty awesome nasty combo, right? Making the bang bang chicken is not nearly as bloody and nasty as that … LOL. Fact is, bang bang chicken is the total opposite – little bashing with no blood and totally PG rated!
Originated from the Hanyang district in China as popular street food – where the chicken was cooked, shredded and then drizzled with hot spicy sauce, the locals eat it as cold snack. The dish got its name from the way the chicken was beaten with a stick to separate them into thin shreds. How original 😉 This is a super easy dish to make and one of the most delicious salad I’ve ever eaten. The combination of the hot sauce, cold salad and shredded chicken just makes my knees weak! Definitely going to try this again next week.
Go ahead – you must try it!
Bang Bang Chicken Salad (adapted from Adam Liaw’s Asian After Work)
1 whole chicken breast fillet, skin-off and boneless (approx. 300g)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 continental cucumber, peeled, deseeded, cut into matchsticks and leave in refrigerator until ready to serve
(Bang Bang Dressing)
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorn
1/3 cup white sesame seeds
3 tsp caster sugar
3 tsp Chinkiang black vinegar
3 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
3 tsp hot chilli oil (see recipe below), reserve 1 tsp for extra drizzle
(Hot Chilli Oil)
250ml peanut oil
1/4 brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1. Prepare the chilli oil first. Pre-heat oven to 100 celsius. Heat 3-4 tbsp of oil in an oven proof saucepan under medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until soft and just starting to brown. Add the remaining oil and continue to heat for 1-2 mins, then add chilli flakes. Stir through to mix. Remove from the heat and transfer to the oven and leave it for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and allow to cool inside. After about 20 mins, remove from the oven. Separate the oil and the ingredients through a strainer. Discard the ingredients and set aside 3 tsp oil for the chicken salad. Store the remaining oil in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 12 months.
2. Heat up a steamer. Once steam starts coming out of the steamer, place the chicken breast in the steamer and turn the heat to low. Steam for 15-20 mins or until just cooked through. Remove the chicken and rest for 5 mins.
3. For the dressing, toast both peppercorn and sesame seeds in a dry pan. Once the sesame seeds turn golden brown, remove from the heat. Pour the ingredients into a mortar and gently grind to a smooth powdery paste like mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients. Combine well and set aside.
4. With a meat pounder, gently bash the chicken breast to loosen and separate the muscle fibres. Then with your fingers, start tearing the chicken into shreds. Lightly season the shredded chicken with salt.
5. On a clean plate, place the chilled cucumber at the bottom. Then top with shredded chicken and bang bang dressing. Lastly, drizzle the extra hot chilli oil for that added hotness. Serve.
Note: Feel free to add more salad leaves if you want. Sweet cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced radishes make great additions, as well as cold vermicelli noodles. I’d prepare the salad ingredients first and leave to chill in the fridge to keep them fresh and cooling.