Monday, January 23, 2012

Bang Bang Chicken



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Summer or winter, this lovely Chinese salad makes for a wonderful meal. This Sichuan dish has become popular around the world and has managed to stay true to its roots. The origins of the dish can be found in Hanyang Ba, a town in Sichuan province that was famous for the quality and flavor of its chickens. Street vendors sold hunks of sauced chicken meat as a snack for villagers and townfolk . They called it "bang bang chicken" because of the noise made by wooden cudgels that were used for pounding cleavers blades through the meat. The cudgels were also used to loosen the fibers of the chicken so it could be torn into shreds by hand. This dish is also known as "stranger-flavor chicken" because of its unique combination of salty, sweet, sour, nutty, hot and numbing flavors. The heat comes from a fiery chili oil and the numbing flavor comes from the use of Sichuan peppercorns. I talked about Sichuan peppercorns several years ago and if you'd like a quick refresher course you can find it here. Make no doubt about it, when made as intended, this is a spicy and fiery hot dish. It is definitely not for sissies and it has the potential to set you on your (r)ear. The Silver Fox and I had our first taste of "bang bang chicken" and a true hot-pot while in Chengdu several years ago, so, we learned from masters how to make and eat and this Sichuan specialty. It is fondly recalled as a baptism by fire. If you decide to make this salad and are new to heat at these levels, I suggest you use red pepper flakes instead of red chili oil. Start with 1/2 teaspoon of flakes and if you like the dish and work your way up to a full measure of oil. There really is no substitute for the peppercorns, so if you can't find them, proceed without them. This is a lovely bold salad and I do hope you'll try it. Here's the recipe.

Bang Bang Chicken...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired in equal measure by Fushia Dunlop and Rhonda Parkinson

Ingredients:
Salad
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 English cucumber, cut into matchstick-size strips
6 shredded scallions + 1 tablespoon shredded scallion, white part only, divided use
1/2 - 1 teaspoon roasted Sichuan peppercorn
Dressing
2 tablespoons sesame seed paste or chunky peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon black rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Asian (dark) sesame oil
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 - 2 tablespoons hot chili oil, or 1 - 2 teaspoons chili flakes
Optional garnish: toasted sesame seeds

Directions:
1) Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook chicken in water for 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain. When cool enough to handle, whack chicken with a rolling pin until it can easily be pulled apart with your fingers.
2) Peel cucumber, and cut into matchstick-size strips. Shred scallions lengthwise. Set both aside.
3) Whisk sesame seed paste or peanut butter, soy sauce, black vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and hot chili oil or chili flakes together in a small bowl.
4) Arrange cucumber matchsticks and six shredded scallions on a serving plate. Place chicken on top. Sprinkle with Sichuan peppercorns and pour sauce over salad. Garnish with reserved scallion shreds. Yield: 4 servings.






One Year Ago Today: Soft Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls















Two Years Ago Today: Chocolate Peppermint Pie

36 comments:

Pondside said...

I love it when I read a recipe that won't require me to make a huge shopping trip - just the fresh greens and the black rice wine vinegar and I'll be good to go.

Sudha said...

Lovely assortment of flavors in this dish,Mary!Not only does it look beautiful,I'm sure it tastes great:)Thanks for sharing - love your recipes.

Ginny said...

Bonefish Grill has Bang Bang Shrimp, a big appetizer favorite. It looks nothing like this, it's in lots of thick gooey sauce and we hate it. I even did a post on it. Now this looks so different, fresh and good!!! I'm also lusting after that peppermint pie!

Avery James Photography said...

Looks yummy!! :)

averyjamesphotography.blogspot.com

Priya said...

Makes me hungry..

MissB said...

Hummmmmm so delicious! Love the name of the recipe! ^^ very funny!

Kisses Mary :*

Foodycat said...

It looks really good - you are so lucky to have been to Chengdu! I was reading about the amazing food scene they have just this weekend.

Mr. Bill said...

Looks great...thanks!

Pegasuslegend said...

The name alone drew me in, love the addition of peanut butter and the name!!!

lena said...

what a name for the dish! it's really nice to always hear you travelling round the world and able to learn their cooking as well and share it with all of us here. thank you!

bellini said...

Well done Mary!!!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

You are the best, Mary! This one sounds spicy and delicious! Thank you. blessings ~ tanna

Kim said...

Love this chicken dish, looks really good!

Judy@SavoringToday said...

Love those flavors and this sounds so simple to make--a great week night meal easy enough on those "just take me out" nights.

Rita said...

We love Chinese Salad and this one is a must try; thank you. Happy ChinNew Years.
Rita

Barbara said...

Excellent recipe, Mary! And the title draws you in... :)

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

Really happy to have this recipe - my girls will love it - the dressing sounds simply divine
Mary x

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I love the name and how it defines the preparation, the bold flavors and the total experience of the dish!

Claudia said...

We've been eating Chinese all week in celebration of the New Year. I will be doing this - it's the lightness we've been striving for - but (ahem) I will be doing the "sissy" version!

North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard said...

Happy Chinese New Year, Mary. You are such a wonderful worldly person, it is such a pleasure for me to read your daily posts. Thank you.

Alanda said...

I love this kind of salads and flavours, it looks yummy...!!!!
;)

nanny said...

One good looking salad. I just love to try new ones....yum.

Eliana said...

This looks like just what I need to get me out of my chicken rut. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe Mary. Love it!

Gloria said...

ah Mary look awesome and delicious!

Catherine said...

Dear Mary, I do love spicy!! I bet I would adore this dish. Blessings, Catherine xo

sweetcarolinescooking.com said...

I never knew how this chicken dish got its name--interesting! That plate of food looks and sounds fantastic, Mary. Great flavors. :)

Joanne said...

I'm a sucker for anything that combines sweet and savory. This sounds perfect to my tastebuds!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Hi Mary, I've been away for awhile and just catching up on your posts. I think that your Bang Bang Chicken will be perfect for a dinner I am preparing for friends. Thank you for always posting a recipe that I think will be enjoyed by so many.

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

Sorry, Mary. Your description of 'numbing' flavor and setting me on my rear has scared me off this recipe! LOL! You can enjoy it for me! ;)
Best,
Gloria
P.S. For some reason, I couldn't see the photo. Maybe if I would have seen it, the great look of it would have given me some bravery to try it. LOL!

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

OH! the photo just came out! Well, further to my last comment... it looks good, but I still think too hot for me!
gv

Jenn said...

I've had bang bang shrimp before, but this salad looks even better than that! I need to find black rice wine vinegar.. think it's time to hit the Asian market again!

France@beyondthepeel said...

I love spicy but I think my favorite part will be banging it with a rolling pin! Too much fun!

chacha said...

Mary, this looks wonderful. My family used to enjoy a chicken salad at our favorite Chinese restaurant just like this many, many years ago. I look forward to making this for my parents soon!

The Harried Cook said...

Love this recipe! The flavors sound like they will go bang bang in your mouth :D Great post, Mary!

Jeanette said...

I love the fragrance and numbing feeling from Sichuan peppercorns.

Aileen said...

This is a very interesting dish. The title got me :-) and I sure would like to try it someday. I like spicy, I just don't know if I can handle this one, judging from your description.

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