Chinese usually prefer food hot then cold. There are exceptions like Sichuan 'liang pun 凉拌' which are salad style dishes, one of these is the well known bang bang chicken (or more correctly pronounced as 'bung bung ji' 棒棒雞).
The name bung bung ji came from the way the chicken was prepared. Traditionally the cooked chicken was bashed with a wooden stick before shredding. In Chinese wooden stick is called 'bung 棒' and chicken is 'ji 雞'.
Chicken for this dish is normally breast and poached. Leftover roast chicken is perfect for this dish.
I have seen many westernised versions of bang bang chicken. Peanut butter is most common. Traditional bang bang chicken only use roasted sesame paste similar to tahini to make the sauce, the sauce is spicy with chilli oil and Sichuan pepper.
Mung bean sheet or 'fun pei 粉皮' is commonly eaten with this chicken salad. I love this it's like rice noodles but texture is slightly crunchy similar to jelly fish. This fun pei is available from many Chinese supermarkets and online store like this. Fin Pei can be in large round sheet or sliced into noodles. If not available can use glass/cellophane noodles.
This the the sesame sauce I was using.
1 - 1.25 large cooked chicken breast
125g Chinese mung/green bean sheet or in strips (fun pei 粉皮)
or glass/cellophane noodles (fun see 粉絲)
or half an iceberg lettuce
1/2 cucumber, cut into very fine strips
dash of sesame oil
dash of light soy sauce
3 tbsp Chinese roasted sesame paste (tahini is good substitute), incl. the oil in the jar
3 - 4 tbsp chicken stock or water
1.5 tbsp light soy sauce
1.5 tbsp Chinkiang black rice vinegar
2 - 3 tsp sugar
1 – 3 tsp hot chilli oil (much as you like) or hot chilli sauce
0.5 tsp toasted and ground Sichuan pepper
1 tbsp good quality sesame oil
a little roasted sesame seeds
some chopped spring onion
- If using mung bean sheets, follow the packet instruction cook with boiling water in a large pan till really soft for about 6 - 8 minutes. Test a bit before taking out then rinse, drain then cut into thick strips. If using glass noodles, soak with boiling water till soften, then rinse and drain. Mix mung bean sheet or glass noodles with a little sesame oil and soy sauce. If using lettuce, just cut into fine strips.
- Shred the chicken into fine strips.
- Cut the cucumber into fine strips.
- To make the sauce, mix the sesame paste with some warm water or stock to thin it down, then add remaining ingredients together. Taste to see if you need to adjust any ingredients.
- Spread the cucumber and mung bean strips (or cellophane noddles, or lettuce) on a dish.
- Scatter on the shredded chicken.
- Drizzle on the dressing.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds and spring onion on top.
Here is picture with everything mixed together, not so pretty but still tasty.