Bang bang chicken 棒棒雞

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

  1. 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.
  2. Shred the chicken into fine strips.
  3. Cut the cucumber into fine strips.
  4. 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.
  5. Spread the cucumber and mung bean strips (or cellophane noddles, or lettuce) on a dish.
  6. Scatter on the shredded chicken.
  7. Drizzle on the dressing.
  8. Sprinkle sesame seeds and spring onion on top.

Here is picture with everything mixed together, not so pretty but still tasty.


  1. Thanks for the info on this, Sunflower, very useful photos of green bean sheets, sesame paste, preserved vegetable. The photos of the jars are so much more useful than photos of the actual ingredient.

    I've been reading the Fuchsia Dunlop Sichuan book, unfortunately she couldn't be bothered to include pix :-(

    I wonder if you could you help with some of the other ingredients she talks about:
    Sweet Wheaten Paste (or the Taiwanese sweet bean sauce alternative she suggests)
    Wine Yeast Balls (used in the fermented glutinous rice wine)
    Sichuan Pickled Chillies
    Pickled Chilli Paste

    Thanks, Mik AKA Sakkarin

  2. Sweet Wheaten Paste is also called sweet yellow bean paste 甜麵醬 tien mien jiang. Here is a picture on this post. I like the jar better. This sauce is essential ingredient for Chinese spag bog or ja jiang mein 炸酱面

    Wine Yeast Balls here is a picture of these yeast balls and my other piccies for glutinous rice wine making. The wine is still maturing in my cupboard. these are available in some Chinese supermarkets, I know Lung Fung in London China Town have them for around 30p a packet.

    Sichuan Pickled Chillies & Pickled Chilli Paste, never seen any in Chinese supermarket anywhere in UK. You can make some yourself. Semi dried some hot red chillies for a day or two. Then prick the skin. Put into a jar with some plain white rice wine, salt and Sichuan peppercorns. Leave on the worktop for a day or two then in the fridge for few weeks before using. The paste is just mashed up pickled chillies.

    If you’ve read my post about Chinese ingredients I have links for most ingredients posted. Also there is a S E ingredients post.


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