Bang-Bang Chicken

Serves 2

A recipe by Ching He Huang. Taken from Exploring China – A Culinary Adventure by Ken Hom and Ching-He Huang published by BBC Books, photography Haarala Hamilton


The name ‘bang-bang’ comes from the Mandarin word for ‘stick’, which is bung. The chicken meat is beaten with a stick to tenderise it, so it shreds easily you could use a rolling pin to flatten the cooked chicken and then use your fingers to tear it into shreds.

  • 100g (4oz) vermicelli mung bean noodles (or rice noodles), pre-soaked in hot water for 5-6 minutes and drained (optional)
  • 250g (9oz) poached chicken breast, shredded
  • ½ cucumber, cut in half lengthways, de-seeded and sliced into long, thin julienne strips
  • 40g (1½ oz) radish, sliced
  • 40g (1½ oz) carrot, peeled and sliced into long, thin julienne strips

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame paste (or tahini blended with 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil)
  • 1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated root ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese black rice vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
  • ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns

For the garnish

  • 1 medium fresh red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large spring onion, finely sliced lengthways
  • toasted back & white sesame seeds


  1. Arrange the noodles, if using, on a plate
  2. Layer the chicken, cucumber, radish and carrot on top, then chill.
  3. Before serving, put all the ingredients for the dressing into a blender and whizz to combine.
  4. Drizzle the dressing over the dish, then sprinkle with the fresh chilli, spring onion and toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.