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Bon-Bon Chicken (棒棒鸡)

Bon Bon Chicken (棒棒鸡)
Bon Bon Chicken (棒棒鸡) pictures (1 of 3)

I am back from Chengdu, Sichuan after the brief weekend visit.

Chengdu is highly regarded as the culinary capital of China with mouthwatering Sichuan cuisine and famed local “small eats” (小吃).

Here is bon-bon chicken or “bang bang ji” (棒棒鸡), which is available in many Chinese restaurants in the US. Bon-bon chicken is a very popular “small eats” in Chengdu. It’s basically poached chicken cut into small pieces, and then drenched in a bath of spicy and  “mala” (numbing and spicy/麻辣)  sauce. It’s topped with chopped scallions, chilies, sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, a pinch of sugar, Sichuan peppercorn powder (花椒粉), and MSG! MSG is very common in Sichuan food. At a mala hotpot dinner, I saw diners making dipping sauces composed of sesame oil, oyster sauce, salt, and MSG. It was really interesting…

You can find bon-bon chicken almost anywhere in Chengdu–mobile carts, stalls, and little restaurants dotting the city. This plate of bon-bon chicken costs RMB10 (approximatey US$1.50) and was sinfully delicious and addictively spicy. A must-try if you are in Chengdu.


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21 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. I had very bad experience with Bon Bon Chicken, but it’s totally different from what you’ve posted here. Yours seems much nicer :)

    • Allie – I had very bad bon-bon chicken in the US Chinese restaurants, too. It was sweet and sticky and very bad in taste. This is awesome, I can’t stop eating it. :)

  2. I have nev erhad this, this is a new dish for me.
    What do they eat this with rice/noodles.
    Ans so much sauce around it.
    I would love to travel once to china. Then i would sure try this dish :-)
    You should post a recipe for this once, when you have time.

  3. The key is that the chicken is beaten to tenderize it before being seasoned (hence the 棒棒). Locals tell me it comes from Yaan, southwest of Chengdu.

  4. NYMY

    MSG so openly? Hmm, I am not sure if I can enjoy this bon bon chicken, then. I have numbing reaction in my back when there’s too much MSG presence in food. Take away the MSG, this bon bon chicken can easily make my most favorite snack.

  5. kiran kirpalani

    pls post the recipe of this dish as it looks n sounds very delicious!id love to try it out as im very fond of chinese cuisine n love to try out new new dishes for my kids especially.i really look forward to this recipe at your earliest!

  6. Zeenath A. Rahim

    Hi. The picture looks inviting & tempting. But nore recipe or ingredients mentioned???? Would really appreciate a detailed recipe. thanks.

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