What a descriptive name this special dish from Sichuan has! Use toasted sesame paste to give the sauce and authentic flavor, although crunchy peanut butter can be used instead. Bang Bang Chicken is perfect for parties and ideal for a buffet.

  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breast portions, total weight about 450 g / 1 lb
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2.5 ml / ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 small onion, halved
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into thin strips
  • salt and ground black pepper
For the sauce
  • 45 ml / 3 tbsp toasted sesame paste
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5x12 cm / 2x½ in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into thin batons
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, dry-fried and crushed
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp light brown sugar
For the chilli oil
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp chilli powder
Crunchy peanut butter can be used instead of sesame paste, if you like. Mix it with 30 ml / 2 tbsp sesame oil and proceed as in Step 2.
  1. Place the chicken in a large, heavy pan. Pour in sufficient water just to cover, add the garlic, peppercorns, and onion, and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface, stir in salt and pepper to taste, then cover the pan. Lower the heat and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is just tender. Drain, reserving the stock.
  2. Make the sauce by mixing the toasted sesame paste with 45 ml / 3 tbsp of the chicken stock, saving the rest for soup. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, spring onions, garlic, ginger, and crushed peppercorns to the sesame mixture. Stir in sugar to taste.
  3. Make the chilli oil by gently heating the oil and chilli powder together until foaming. Simmer for 2 minutes, cool, then strain off the red-colored oil and discard the sediment.
  4. Spread out the cucumber batons on a platter. Cut the chicken breast portions into pieces of about the same size as the cucumber strips and arrange then on top. Pour over the sauce, drizzle on the chilli oil, and serve.
Bang Bang Chicken