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Spicy Bang Bang Chicken (Air Fryer or Oven)

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Bang Bang Chicken has crispy chicken nuggets drizzled with a sweet & spicy sauce! Chicken is marinated, breaded & cooked in air fryer or oven.
pieces of Bang Bang chicken in a bowl

Bang Bang Chicken features crispy and juicy chicken cubes drizzled with a sweet and spicy sauce! The cubes are marinated, breaded, and cooked in the air fryer or oven for crispy chicken bites.

Bang Bang sauce is a creamy sweet chili mayo that is absolutely delicious and perfect used for dipping or coating the crispy bites. This dish is a tasty appetizer for parties or a fun family dinner.

This is a copycat Bonefish Grill recipe, similar to their Bang Bang Shrimp. I love shrimp, but let’s face it, shrimp is more expensive! So with this recipe, you can get a similar flavor at a fraction of the cost.

closeup of Bang Bang chicken in a white bowl

Check out more air fryer chicken recipes, like Orange Chicken or Nashville Hot Chicken.

What is Bang Bang Chicken?

Traditional Bang Bang chicken is a Chinese dish from the Sichuan region of China with shredded meat and sliced cucumbers. This recipe is nothing like that, but instead is the American version of the meal, which is basically spicy nuggets dipped in a hot and tangy sauce.

Bang Bang Sauce

Bang Bang sauce is a sweet and spicy sauce that is perfect for dipping crispy chicken, shrimp, fries, or almost anything you love to dip. I use a simple mayonnaise-based sauce flavored with hot sauce, sweet chili sauce, and honey for a great combination of hot and sweet! You can vary the sauce by adding more hot sauce or cayenne pepper to make it really hot! 

top view of spicy chicken nuggets on a plate

Key Ingredients

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

Chicken – Use either boneless breast or chicken thighs in the recipe. Just make sure it is diced into bite-size pieces.

Buttermilk – The buttermilk is used to marinate the meat. Since it is acidic, it helps tenderize the meat.

Corn starch and flour – These ingredients coat the cubes and add to the crispiness.

Egg – The egg helps hold the coating ingredients together in the batter.

Seasoning – The buttermilk batter is seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.

Panko breadcrumbs – These Japanese-style breadcrumbs coat the outside of the meat. I prefer the texture of panko breadcrumbs, but standard bread crumbs will also work.

Bang Bang chicken ingredients labeled photo
Bang Bang Chicken Ingredients

How to Make Bang Bang Chicken

1. Marinate

In a medium bowl, combine the butter, milk, cornstarch, flour, salt, pepper, hot sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and egg. Mix it all until it forms a thick batter.

marinating the chicken in buttermilk batter
Marinade the chicken

Add the piece of chicken and stir until all they are coated in the buttermilk batter. Put the bowl in the refrigerator to marinate for about 30 minutes. This will flavor and tenderize the meat.

2, Bread the Chicken

Put the bread crumbs in a mixing bowl. Take the marinated pieces out of the batter, let any excess drip off, and put them in the bowl with the bread crumbs. Stir to mix so that the pieces of chicken are coated with panko.

chicken after breading with panko
Panko coated chicken

Put the breaded chicken on a tray and back in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes. Chilling it will help the coating stick to the meat as it cooks.

3. Cook

Bake in Oven

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the coated nuggets on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray them with vegetable oil and then bake for 20-30 minutes. The cubes are done when they are golden brown on top and crispy.

Air Fry Bang Bang Chicken

To make air fryer bang bang chicken brush or spray the pieces with oil. Don’t use commercial spray oil in the air fryer since it can damage the air fryer basket. Preheat the air fryer at 360 degrees F for 3 minutes.

chicken in air fryer basket before cooking
Before air frying
fried chicken nuggets in air fryer basket
After air frying

Add the cubes to the basket, making sure not to overcrowd it. Cook at 360 F for 7 minutes, flip the cubes over and cook for another 5 minutes until golden brown.

4. Check Doneness

Use an instant-read thermometer to check a few pieces and ensure the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. 

Make Bang Bang Sauce

The Bang Bang sauce is made by mixing the mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, hot sauce, and honey in a medium bowl. Whisk it all together to combine. 

Bang bang sauce for shrimp or chicken

Serving Ideas

These tiny bites of crunchy chicken are versatile and can be served in many ways. Just serve them with the dipping sauce for a fun finger food snack or meal. Make an Asian-inspired appetizer spread and include air fryer spring rolls or sweet and sour chicken egg rolls.

Or toss them with the sauce and serve them over pasta or rice. Use the spicy bite-sized pieces to make Bang Bang chicken tacos or use them in a wrap or a sandwich. These are also delicious served over leafy greens for a spicy salad.

How to Store

You can store the spicy nuggets and sauce separately in airtight containers for 4 days in the refrigerator. To reheat leftovers put the nuggets in the air fryer at 360 F for 5 minutes or heat them in the oven at 400 F for 10 minutes.

Dipping the chicken nugget in Bang Bang sauce

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pieces of Bang Bang chicken in a bowl
5 from 3 votes

Bang Bang Chicken Recipe

Bang Bang Chicken has crispy chicken nuggets drizzled with a sweet & spicy sauce! Chicken is marinated, breaded & cooked in air fryer or oven.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 3
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Ingredients
 

  • 2 skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces.
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil for brushing

Bang Bang Sauce Ingredients

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions

  • Mix buttermilk, cornstarch, all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, hot sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and egg in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces and stir until they are coated. Let them rest, refrigerated, for 30 minutes.
    1 cup buttermilk, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, ½ cup cornstarch, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon hot sauce, 2 skinless chicken breasts
  • Put the breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Take the marinated pieces out of the bowl and let the excess drip off. Then place in the large bowl and stir to coat in panko breadcrumbs.
    1 ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Arrange the coated chicken on a baking tray and put it in the refrigerator to chill for another 15-30 minutes. Chilling will help the breading stick.

Air Frying Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F. Brush the basket with a little oil and put the coated pieces in it. Be careful not to overcrowd the air fryer. You might need to cook in batches.
    Oil for brushing
  • Brush some oil on the top. Cook for 7-8 minutes on one side, then turn and cook for another 5 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the chicken pieces.

Baking Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the coated pieces on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spray them with vegetable oil and then bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time. The nuggets are done when they are golden brown on top and crispy.

Make the Bang Bang Sauce

  • Mix the mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, honey, and hot sauce in a small bowl. Whisk until everything is well combined.
    ½ cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon hot sauce

Serving Suggetions

  • To serve as an appetizer, dip the spicy nuggets in the sauce and enjoy.
  • Alternatively, you can pour the sauce over the pieces and toss. Then serve them over white rice, cauliflower rice or pasta.
  • Use the crisp chicken cubes in tacos, wraps, or sandwiches, drizzled with the sauce.

Notes

You can also use chicken thighs in this recipe.
Feel free to vary the amount of honey or hot sauce in the sauce to make it hotter or sweeter, depending on your preference.

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Nutrition Information

Calories: 710kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 182mg | Sodium: 1791mg | Potassium: 537mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 351IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 177mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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Bang Bang Chicken on a plate with sauce
By on June 24th, 2022

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