Sichuan Bang-Bang Chicken (Ban-Ban Ji)

Ban-ban Ji – Bang bang chicken is a classic cold Sichuan dish. The “bang-bang” in its name refers to the sound of the chicken meat being pounded with a mallet to tenderize and shred. For those that would rather name it by taste rather than sound, it’s sometimes called “Mysterious Flavor Chicken”. Whatever you call it, this is truly a great dish for showing off the many flavors, textures, and aromas of Sichuan cuisine.

Ban-ban Ji – Cold Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing

Bang-Bang Chicken is a marvelous example of how Sichuan cuisine blends contrasting flavors to create classic dishes where the whole is greater than its parts. It's a perfect warm weather dish to serve for lunch, as a stand alone appetizer, or part of a bigger meal.
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Course: Appetizer, Brunch, Lunch, Salad, Street Food
Cuisine: Chinese, Sichuan, Western China
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Wok
  • Jar with lid
  • Instant read thermometer (optional)


  • 1 whole Chicken breast, split in 2
  • ½ lb Bean sprouts (or iceberg lettuce)
  • 1 large Cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned
  • ½ inch Ginger root, peeled and crushed
  • 6 whole Sichuan peppercorns,
  • 2 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 stalk Scallion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp Toasted sesame seeds

Sesame Dressing

  • 1 inch Ginger root, minced
  • ½ tsp Ground Sichuan pepper
  • 5 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 5 tbsp Chinese sesame paste (tahini or peanut butter OK)
  • 5 tbsp Red chile oil
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Toasted sesame oil


  • Prepare Chicken – Boil enough water in a wok to cover chicken. Add chopped scallions, crushed ginger and garlic, and whole peppercorns. Add chicken and simmer until cooked through, about 15 minutes or reaches 150°F (66°C) on an instant read thermometer. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones from chicken and shred into thin, long pieces by hand.
  • Prepare Dressing – In a sealed container or jar, combine minced garlic, ginger, ground sichuan pepper, sesame paste, red oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Cover container and shake to combine.
  • Serve – If using bean sprouts, heat 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil in a wok. Stir fry bean sprouts for 3 minutes. If using lettuce, shred first and mix with 1 tbsp sesame oil. Place sprouts or shredded lettuce onto the middle of a serving platter. Fan chicken shreds over sprouts. Rim dish with cucumber sticks. Pour shaken dressing over chicken shreds and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve.


  • Any good sesame paste may be used, even peanut butter, but Chinese sesame paste has its own unique flavor that matches perfectly in the dressing.
  • This dish is also excellent served over cold noodles instead of the bean sprouts or shredded lettuce. 


Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 0.2mg | Sodium: 512mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 73IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

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