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Bam Bam Chicken

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Bam bam chicken is a delicious chicken salad that is served cold and make a great drinking snack.

This is bam bam chicken, a recipe that is centuries of years old and often called bang bang chicken which is now better known as a Chinese/American fried chicken dish. I call it bam bam chicken because bang bang chicken means something completely different to people these days. 

This recipe is much lighter but equally as delicious.

Bam bam chicken

What is bam bam chicken?

Don’t get this recipe mixed up with the Chinese/American dish often called by the same name or bang bang chicken. This is authentic Szechuan style bam bam chicken and it is very popular in Sichuan (Szechuan) cuisine.

This is a spicy shredded chicken dish that is served cold. It’s very popular as a party snack and goes great with a few cold beers.

Why is it called bam bam chicken or bang bang chicken?

If you google it, you’ll probably find quite a few explanations as to why this dish is called bam bam chicken. All are possible and none of them are 100% in stone.

The version I like is that the name comes from the bam bam or bang bang sound that the original street venders used to make when preparing bam bam chicken. They would hit the chicken with big bats to shred it and give it a good texture.

I tried it once but didn’t notice any big difference between that method and shredding the chicken by hand. But i’s a good explanation all the same. 

Can you work ahead?

Yes. This is a really easy chicken salad. You can cook and shred the meat a couple of days ahead of serving. If you like, you can also mix the sauce ingredients and stir the sauce into the shredded chicken. It will keep in the fridge for at least three days or perhaps longer depending on the freshness of your ingredients.

So really, everything can be prepared ahead of time. I do recommend not placing the chicken on the sliced cucumber until just before serving.

Can you freeze the chicken?

Yes. This bang bang chicken freezes really well. Just freeze it in containers in portions that are convenient for you. Allow the frozen chicken to defrost in the fridge and then serve cold or at room temperature.

What is crispy chilli oil?

You will find crispy chilli oil in jars at Chinese grocers. It’s so good. You can also make your own using this crispy chilli oil recipe.

Step by step photographs.

Ingredients for bam bam chicken

Get all your ingredients together before starting. It’s easier that way.

Mixing the sauce ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together but only add one tbsp of the crispy chilli oil. The rest will be added as a garnish later.

The ginger and spring onions (scallions) in a steamer.

Place the sliced ginger and spring onions (scallions) in a steamer that is large enough to hold the chicken in one layer.

the chicken on top of the ginger and spring onions (scallions) in the steamer.

Place the chicken on top and season with the salt.

Steaming the chicken in the steamer.

Steam the chicken for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Then take off the heat and allow to cool.

Shredded chicken in a bowl with the sauce.

Once cooled, shred the chicken and add the prepared sauce.

Shredded chicken in the sauce on top of sliced cucumber.

Place the sliced cucumber on a serving plate. Mix the chicken with the sauce well and top the cucumber with it.

Bam bam chicken

Garnish the bam bam chicken with the rest of the crispy chilli oil, chopped spring onions (scallions) and toasted sesame seeds.

Authentic bam bam or bang bang chicken

Dig in! This is so good with a couple of beers!

If you like this recipe, you might like to try some of the following too!

I am adding new Chinese recipes to my blog regularly so be sure to check out the Chinese section often. For now, why not try some of these?

  1. General Tso’s Chicken
  2. Crispy Chicken and Broccoli
  3. Salt and Pepper Chicken
  4. Sesame Chicken
  5. Sweet and Sour Chicken
  6. Kung Pao Chicken
  7. Dan Dan Noodles
  8. Orange Chicken
  9. Hainan Chicken
  10. Spicy Chicken Chow Mein
  11. Mongolian Beef
  12. Chinese Crispy Beef
  13. Egg Drop Soup
  14. Spicy Won Ton Soup
  15. Egg Fried Rice
  16. Potstickers

Have you tried this bam bam chicken recipe?

If yes, please give it a star rating in the recipe card below and leave a comment. I love receiving feedback and I’m sure other readers of my blog do too. Thank you.

Yield: 4

Bam Bam Chicken

Bam bam chicken

This is the traditional Chinese version of Bam Bam Chicken or Bang Bang Chicken. It is served cold and is great as a snack, starter or main.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 x 5cm (2 inch) ginger, thinly sliced and lightly crushed
  • 5 spring onions (scallions), lightly smashed
  • 1 cucumber, sliced lengthwise through the centre and then thinly sliced
  • 1 generous tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 generous tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp black or white rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Chinese sesame paste
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp ground Sichuan pepper
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp Chinese chili oil or to taste
  • 4 tbsp spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


  1. Place the spring onions (scallions) and sliced/crushed ginger in a steamer and arrange the chicken thighs on top. Season the chicken thighs with the salt and then steam for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.
  2. Transfer the chicken to a plate and allow it to cool and then shred it with your hands or a couple of forks. Put in the fridge to keep cool.
  3. Put all of the sauce ingredients up to and including the sugar in a mixing bowl. Add one tablespoon of the crispy chilli oil and save the rest for later. Whisk the sauce well to combine.
  4. When ready to serve, mix the shredded chicken with the sauce. Arrange the sliced cucumber on a serving plate and lay the shredded chicken on top. Drizzle liberally with the rest of the crispy chilli oil and then garnish with the chopped spring onions (scallions) and toasted sesame seeds.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 472Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 1733mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 33g

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