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
- 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
- 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.