Crispy Bang Bang Chicken is delicious pan-fried breaded chicken with a sweet and tangy dipping sauce. Serve it as an appetizer or as a main dish with your choice of side dishes. This recipe includes air fryer instructions and baking instructions too!

Plate of crispy bang bang chicken drizzled with sauces with fresh lime and cilantro to the side, ready to serve.

After making and absolutely adoring my recipe for Crispy Bang Bang Salmon Bites Bowls, I just knew I needed to try a crispy chicken version.

I’m so thrilled I gave the classic chicken version a try, because the results are outstanding!

There’s just something about crispy on the outside, tender on the inside breaded chicken paired with a lovely dipping sauce that I find irresistible.

With minimal prep time and a handful of ingredients, we end up with tender chunks of crispy chicken with the most delicious sauce.

If you’re a shrimp lover, also try my Bang Bang Shrimp recipe.

In case you aren’t familiar with bang bang chicken, I’ve got you covered.

What is Bang Bang Chicken?

Coming to us from Chinese cuisine, bang bang chicken is breaded chicken that is deep fried or pan fried to golden brown perfection and served with a creamy sweet and sour sauce drizzled on top.

It is also known as bon bon chicken or bam bam chicken. “Bang bang” is derived from a Chinese word that refers to the mallet with which one can tenderize meat.

Chinese cuisine dishes like Bang Bang Shrimp and Bang Bang Chicken have been made popular by the famous restaurant chains, Panda Express and Bonefish Grill.

What is Bang Bang Chicken Made Of?

Classic recipes for bang bang chicken consist of a batter made of flour, cornstarch, milk, and seasonings.

Because I eat gluten-free, I made a gluten-free bang bang chicken recipe but I have included instructions below to make the regular version if you aren’t gluten-free.

Plate of bang bang chicken with a bowl of bang bang sauce to the side, fresh cilantro sprinkled around.

Let’s discuss the ingredients for bang bang sauce and the ingredients for bang bang chicken.

Bang Bang Sauce Ingredients:

Mayonnaise or Greek Yogurt: Creating the creamy base for the sauce, we need either mayo or plain Greek yogurt. My personal preference is mayonnaise because it tastes richer and has a smoother texture, but the yogurt version is lower in calories.

Sweet Chili Sauce: Used in Asian-style cooking quite frequently, sweet chili sauce is responsible for the sweet and tangy flavor of bang bang sauce.

In case you’ve never used it, you can find sweet chili sauce in the “Asian” aisle of the grocery store, near the other Asian condiments. You local Asian market may carry it too.

Sriracha or Gochujang: Adding a little kick of heat to the sauce, use your desired amount of sriracha or gochujang. If you prefer mild food, you can skip the hot sauce. For spicy sauce, add more sriracha to your personal taste.

Honey: A little honey adds more sweetness to the sauce, which we know makes it even tastier.

Bang Bang Chicken Ingredients:

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs or Skinless Chicken Breast: Pick up your favorite cut of boneless chicken pieces.

I prefer using boneless thighs because they maintain moisture throughout the frying process so that the inside of the chicken nuggets is nice and tender.

Breasts work too but require some careful monitoring so that they don’t become overcooked.

Egg and Milk: One large egg and a splash of milk get mixed together to form the egg mixture for dredging the chicken. Dredging the chicken in egg just helps the breading stick to the chicken to get a lovely outer crust. 

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour and Tapioca Flour (or Potato Starch): We use a combination of gluten-free all-purpose flour and tapioca flour to make the most delightful crispy crunchy exterior. 

Feel free to swap the gluten-free all-purpose flour out for regular all-purpose flour if you aren’t gluten-free.

You can also substitute potato starch, corn starch, or Panko breadcrumbs for the tapioca flour. In this sense, there are plenty of options when it comes to the breading. 

Salt, Pepper, Paprika and Garlic Powder: The seasonings here. We need a simple combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika to season the flour mixture.

Avocado Oil (for Frying): In order to pan-fry the chicken, we need a high-temperature cooking oil that won’t burn at a high heat. For this reason, olive oil is out.

I like using avocado oil because it has neutral flavor and a high smoke point.

Canola oil or vegetable oil work too but I prefer avocado oil’s omega-3 content over the omega-6 content of seed oils.

Plate of crispy bang bang chicken bites drizzled with bang bang sauce.

What to Serve with Bang Bang Chicken:

Garnish the crispy fried chicken with chopped green onions (spring onion) or chopped cilantro and sesame seeds.

You can serve bang bang chicken as a main course with your favorite side dishes. I find rice noodles, stir fry vegetables and steamed brown rice to be great pairings.

If you’re looking for specific suggestions, I would recommend my Cilantro Lime Rice or my Pineapple Fried Rice

I enjoy making chicken and rice bowls using this golden perfection chicken along with steamed, roasted, or sauteed veggies (like broccoli, red onions, snow peas, and bell pepper), some creamy avocado and that delicious creamy sauce.

Drizzle it all with the creamy sweet chili sauce, lime juice or teriyaki sauce for a real wild ride.

Now that we’re experts on the simple ingredients list, let’s make some bang bang chicken!

How to Make Bang Bang Chicken:

Mix all of the ingredients for the bang bang sauce in a small bowl until completely combined.

Bang bang sauce ingredients in a measuring cup.

Taste the sauce for flavor and add more sweet chili sauce or a drizzle of lemon juice or chili oil to your personal taste.

Bang bang sauce in a measuring cup, all mixed up and ready to use.

Refrigerate the sauce until you’re ready to use it. Bang bang sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Wooden bowl of bang bang sauce.

Remove the chicken thighs from their packaging and place them on a cutting board. Use paper towels to pat off any excess moisture from the chicken.

Use a sharp knife to chop the chicken thighs into 2-inch chunks. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and the milk until well combined.

Transfer the GF all-purpose flour, tapioca flour, salt, black pepper, and paprika to a plate and stir everything together until the dry ingredients are combined.

Plate with flours and seasonings on top to bread chicken.

Dredge a few pieces of chicken in the egg mixture, followed by the flour mixture and place the floured chicken pieces on a plate. Repeat for the remaining chicken.

Dredging chicken in egg mixture then in the flour mixture in a bowl and on a plate to make bang bang chicken.

Heat 4 to 5 tablespoons of avocado oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat up for a few minutes, until it is sizzling hot. You can test the oil by carefully flicking some water onto the hot skillet.

If the water immediately sizzles and evaporates, the oil is ready. If you notice the oil isn’t becoming hot enough, increase the heat to high heat.

Use tongs to carefully place the floured chicken pieces on the hot surface of the skillet in a single layer, giving each piece a little room (You may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your skillet).

Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the first side is deeply golden brown.

Chicken nuggets cooking in a skillet to golden brown perfection.

Carefully flip the chicken pieces and fry for another 3 to 5 minutes or until all of the pieces are golden brown all the way around and cooked through. I like to spot check the chicken with a thermometer to be sure it is fully cooked.

To do so, insert a digital thermometer into a few of the larger pieces. They are fully cooked if they are 180 degrees or higher.

Note: if you’re using chicken breasts, the internal temperature should be 165 or higher, as breasts require slightly less cooking time.

Place the fried bang bang chicken on a large plate and serve it with the bang bang dipping sauce.

Drizzling bang bang sauce over crispy chicken using a spoon.

You can serve bang bang chicken as a main dish with your favorite side dishes such as steamed white rice or brown rice, fried rice, or sauteed vegetables.

Store leftover bang bang chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

Use leftovers to make bang bang chicken tacos!

To reheat bang bang chicken, use a skillet or an airfryer to get it to crisp back up. Microwaving it will cause you to lose the crispy outside, but it will still be tasty.

If you prefer cooking in the air fryer rather than frying in the frying pan, follow the instructions below.

Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken:

Follow all of the instructions above until you get to the cooking method. Rather than breaking out a frying pan, break out your air fryer!

Spray the basket of your air fryer with cooking spray. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F for a few minutes.

Place the breaded chicken in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry for 7 minutes, flip the chicken, then air fry for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. 10-12 minutes total should get you there if you’re air frying at 420 degrees. 

Repeat for any remaining raw chicken pieces and serve with the sweet, spicy mayo.

Looking for baking instructions? Follow the directions below for oven baked bang bang chicken.

Oven Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spread the breaded chicken bites in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

While the oven method works, I find the best results come from pan frying the chicken because it becomes extra crispy on the outside but remains tender on the inside.

Plate full of crispy chicken nuggets, drizzled in sauces.

So there you have it!

The next time you’re craving crispy chicken nuggets with a delightful dipping sauce, be sure to whip up this delightful bang bang chicken with creamy sweet dipping sauce.

If you enjoy quick appetizer recipes like this, also try out these reader favorites.

More Appetizer Recipes:

Little nuggets of joy, here we go!

Plate of crispy bang bang chicken drizzled with sauces with fresh lime and cilantro to the side, ready to serve.

Bang Bang Chicken

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This easy crispy bang bang chicken recipe comes with tender fried crispy chicken with the dreamiest creamy sweet sauce.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings

Ingredients

Bang Bang Sauce:

Bang Bang Chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts chopped into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp milk or water
  • cup gluten-free all-purpose flour or regular all-purpose flour
  • cup tapioca flour or potato starch
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika*
  • 4 to 5 Tbsp avocado oil for frying as needed

Instructions

  • Mix all of the ingredients for the bang bang sauce in a small bowl until completely combined. Taste the sauce for flavor and add more sweet chili sauce or a drizzle of lemon juice or chili oil to your personal taste. Refrigerate the sauce until you’re ready to use it. Bang bang sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Remove the chicken thighs from their packaging and place them on a cutting board. Use paper towels to pat off any excess moisture from the chicken.
  • Use a sharp knife to chop the chicken thighs into 2-inch chunks.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and the milk until well combined.
  • Transfer the GF all-purpose flour, tapioca flour, salt, black pepper, and paprika to a plate and stir everything together until the dry ingredients are combined.
  • Dredge a few pieces of chicken in the egg mixture, followed by the flour mixture and place the floured chicken pieces on a plate. Repeat for the remaining chicken.
  • Heat 4 to 5 tablespoons of avocado oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat up for a few minutes, until it is sizzling hot. You can test the oil by carefully flicking some water onto the hot skillet. If the water immediately sizzles and evaporates, the oil is ready. If you notice the oil isn’t becoming hot enough, increase the heat to high heat.
  • Use tongs to carefully place the floured chicken pieces on the hot surface of the skillet in a single layer, giving each piece a little room (You may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your skillet). Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the first side is deeply golden brown.
  • Carefully flip the chicken pieces and fry for another 3 to 5 minutes or until all of the pieces are golden brown all the way around and cooked through. I like to spot check the chicken with a thermometer to be sure it is fully cooked. To do so, insert a digital thermometer into a few of the larger pieces. They are fully cooked if they are 180 degrees or higher. Note: if you’re using chicken breasts, the internal temperature should be 165 or higher, as breasts require slightly less cooking time.
  • Place the fried bang bang chicken on a large plate and serve it with the bang bang dipping sauce.
  • You can serve bang bang chicken as a main dish with your favorite side dishes such as steamed white rice or brown rice, fried rice, or sauteed vegetables.

Notes

*If you have shichimi togarashi, a Japanese spice similar to red pepper, feel free to use it here.
 
See information above for air fryer instructions and oven instructions.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 6) · Calories: 295kcal · Carbohydrates: 18g · Protein: 19g · Fat: 15g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g · Monounsaturated Fat: 8g · Cholesterol: 83mg · Sodium: 358mg · Sugar: 7g
Author: Julia Mueller
Course: Appetizers, Main Dishes
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: amazing appetizer recipes, appetizer recipes, bang bang chicken, bang bang sauce, chicken recipes, easy healthy recipes
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

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Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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