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30 September 2020

This bang bang chicken recipe is the perfect appetizer with chunks of juicy fried chicken tossed in a creamy, sweet and spicy sauce. So easy to make!

We’re cooking up some fun appetizers in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen today, my friends. Chicken is the star and I think you’re going to love this one. It’s really a riff off of the very popular homemade bang bang shrimp from Bonefish Grill, only we’re using bite-sized pieces of chicken to make it.

We’re talking Bang Bang Chicken, and it’s crazy delicious!

Real, authentic bang bang chicken is actually a Chinese dish of chicken tossed in a spicy sauce. This is different, an Americanized version popularly served in American restaurants.

It’s pretty easy to make, with the chunks of chicken coated in a corn starch mixture, then lightly fried. Toss them in a homemade bang bang sauce you can whip together in seconds and boom! Or should I say BANG!

Easy appetizers are good to go. They’re great for game day, any party or gathering, or for enjoying all by yourself.

Let’s talk about how to make bang bang chicken, shall we?

A pile of Bang Bang Chicken bites on a plate

Homemade Bang Bang Chicken Ingredients

  • FOR THE BANG BANG SAUCE
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chili-garlic sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (or use smoked paprika for a milder version)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • FOR THE CHICKEN
  • Chicken. Use 1 pound  chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces – you can also use boneless chicken thighs. You can also easily scale up this recipe.
  • Buttermilk. Use 1/2 cup buttermilk (or use milk).
  • Corn Starch. Use 3/4 cup corn starch.
  • Seasonings. Use 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (use smoked paprika for a milder version, or use both!) and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Frying Oil. Enough vegetable oil for frying. Peanut oil is good here, too.
  • FOR GARNISH: Fresh chopped parsley, spicy chili flakes

How to Make Bang Bang Chicken – the Recipe Method

Make the Bang Bang Sauce. First, add all of the bang bang sauce ingredients to a small bowl – mayo, chili-garlic sauce, sriracha, honey, lemon juice, cayenne and some salt and pepper.

Whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust for salt.

Bang Bang Sauce whisked together in a bowl

Set aside until ready to use. It is best to keep it in the refrigerator, covered.

Make the Bang Bang Chicken. Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a pot to 375 degrees F over medium-high heat. Do not bring it to a boil. If you do not have a thermometer, test the oil with a tiny drop of corn starch. It will immediately sizzle up when you’re ready to start frying.

Soak the Chicken. Add the chicken and buttermilk to a large bowl. Toss to coat the chicken. Soak for a few minutes while the oil is heating.

Dry Ingredients. Whisk together the cornstarch, cayenne (or paprika) and a bit of salt and pepper into a separate medium bowl.

Bite sized pieces of chicken being coated in flour, ready for frying

Coat the Chicken. Remove the chicken and shake off any excess buttermilk. Coat the chicken in the seasoned cornstarch mixture.

Fry the Chicken Until Crispy. Fry the chicken pieces for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are cooked through and start to lightly brown for wonderfully crispy chicken. Remove and drain the chicken on paper towels.

Fried chicken pieces being slathered with bang bang sauce

Get Saucy. Toss the chicken with the bang bang sauce then garnish with fresh parsley and spicy chili flakes. Serve it up with extra bang bang sauce.

Boom! That’s it, my friends!  Or should I say “Bang”. Easy enough, isn’t it? I love this stuff. Super tasty.

Bang Bang Chicken bites on a plate

About the Bang Bang Sauce

Bang Bang Sauce is a mixture of mayonnaise and chili sauce with other flavorful ingredients, and you can easily vary it up with different flavors to suit your own personal tastes. It is very similar to a creamy remoulade or popular sriracha mayo

Popular additions include soy sauce, sriracha, chili-garlic sauce, honey, citrus or vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and/or spicy seasonings, such as cayenne or Cajun seasonings. I like to make an extra spicy version, of course. 

See my Bang Bang Sauce Recipe here with more discussion on how you can customize it to make it your own.

Bang Bang Chicken Serving Suggestions

  • Other Seasonings. You can easily add other seasonings to your chicken before frying. I often use garlic powder for an extra garlicky punch, which I just love. Use your own favorite seasoning blends.
  • Appetizers. Serve bang bang chicken over spinach or other leafy greens as a simple appetizer or as the starter for your main course.
  • Over Rice. Make it a meal by serving the chicken over steamed rice or cauliflower rice.
  • Bang Bang Chicken Pasta. Toss the chicken with your favorite boiled noodles for a quick and easy pasta dinner.
  • Bang Bang Chicken Tacos. Serve your homemade bang bang chicken over warmed tortillas with a few of your favorite toppings, like sliced avocado or chopped tomato.

A piece of Bang Bang Chicken on a fork

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • The Heat Factor. Skip the sriracha and cayenne powder to tone down the heat of the bang bang sauce. Use a sweet chili sauce instead of the chili-garlic sauce. If you’d like to up the heat factor, add some of your favorite hot sauce to the sauce, and/or spicy chili flakes or powder. 
  • Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken. Deep frying gives a wonderful crispiness to the chicken, but you can also make bang bang chicken in an air fryer without using all of that oil. Just heat your air fryer to 400 degrees F, then air fry the chicken pieces for 15 minutes or until they are cooked through, flipping them part way through the air fry.
  • Grilled Chicken. Skip the frying and grill the chicken instead. Heat your grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grates. Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper (or use your favorite seasoning blend), then grill the chicken a few minutes per side, until cooked through. Then, chop and toss the pieces with the bang bang sauce.
  • Sauteed Chicken. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pan. Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper (or use your favorite seasoning blend), then sauté the chicken a few minutes per side, until cooked through. Then, chop and toss them with the bang bang sauce.
  • Baked Chicken. If you’d prefer to bake the chicken, set the coated chicken pieces on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until they are cooked through.

I hope you enjoy it! Time to get cooking! How are you going to serve yours? I’d love to hear it! I made tacos with mine!

A piece of bang bang chicken slathered in bang bang sauce

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

A piece of bang bang chicken dipped into bang bang sauce

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Bang Bang Chicken Recipe

This bang bang chicken recipe is the perfect appetizer with chunks of juicy fried chicken tossed in a creamy, sweet and spicy sauce. So easy to make!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, fried chicken, game day, party food, spicy
Servings: 4
Calories: 469kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE BANG BANG SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chili-garlic sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne or use smoked paprika for a milder version
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE CHICKEN

  • 1 pound chicken breast chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or use milk
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper use smoked paprika for a milder version or use both!
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • FOR GARNISH: Fresh chopped parsley spicy chili flakes

Instructions

FOR THE BANG BANG SAUCE

  • Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, or serve right away.

FOR THE BANG BANG CHICKEN

  • Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a wide pot to 375 degrees F. Do not let the oil boil. If you do not have a thermometer, test the oil with a tiny drop of flour. It will immediately sizzle up.
  • Next, add the chicken and buttermilk to a large bowl. Toss to coat the chicken. Soak for a few minutes while the oil is heating.
  • Whisk together then cornstarch, cayenne (or paprika) and a bit of salt and pepper into a separate large bowl.
  • Drain the chicken and shake off any excess buttermilk. Coat the chicken in the seasoned cornstarch mixture, then fry them for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are cooked through and start to lightly brown.
  • Remove and drain the chicken on paper towels.
  • Toss the chicken with the bang bang sauce then garnish with fresh parsley and spicy chili flakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 1123mg | Potassium: 495mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 830IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
Bang Bang Chicken
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