Bang bang sauce; sounds a little appetizing, right? A double adjective; it must be good! But what is this sauce exactly? What is it made of, what does it taste like and why is it even called this, to begin with? Well, we are going to be finding out all here today.
So, what is Bang Bang sauce? Bang Bang sauce is a sweet, spicy, and creamy mayonnaise-based sauce. It has been traditionally eaten with Bang Bang chicken; a Chinese street food dish that consisted of deep-fried chicken pieces. Although, it is now widely eaten with fried seafood (such as shrimp) or as a dipping sauce for any other fried or grilled foods.
In many ways, bang bang is a way of eating.
And so much so that many restaurants have incorporated it into their menu; offering it with their grilled and fried meals.
In fact, sometimes you’ll even find variations too. One popular one that comes to mind is “boom boom”. I’ve seen that too and it was, very similar.
Nevertheless, let us now explore bang bang so you know exactly what to expect, should you proceed to order or make some!
Bang Bang sauce is primarily made of mayonnaise and a variation of chili sauce. Typically this is a hot sauce, such as Sriracha. However, some recipes and variations of the sauce call for other ingredients too, such as herbs, spices, and other general seasonings.
For the most part, the exact ingredients will depend on where it is being made.
Home recipes of bang bang sauce tend to be more simplistic, as we will see from a recipe I’ve pulled together and you can see if you keep reading.
The same can be said for restaurants in many ways, but the only way to know for sure is to ask them exactly what they use.
This is the kind of sauce that chefs will experiment with, and it will be different depending on where you go.
And then onto products on the market; this is where it can really get interesting.
For instance, the popular Fishermans Kitchen Bang Bang sauce includes chilis, onion, and smoked paprika.
Another popular product, the June Moon Spice company store garlic and cayenne.
So you can see, it does vary.
But nevertheless, despite the subtle nuances; it is always designed to taste in the following way.
What Does Bang Bang Sauce Taste Like?
Bang Bang sauce is creamy and spicy, first and foremost. It is often a little sweet, and sometimes sour too.
Depending on the variety, you may even get other notes too, such as garlic, nuttiness, tanginess, or smokiness.
Why Is It Called Bang Bang Sauce?
Bang Bang sauce got its name having been paired with Bang Bang chicken. A popular Chinese street food in the Szechuan region of China. The term Bang Bang is in reference to the sounds used to prepare the meat; the sound the cleaver made when it cut the chicken into small pieces and the pounding of the chicken by a wooden club to tenderize the meat.
Interestingly, the word bàng (榜) in Chinese simply means “stick.”
Although, this dish and subsequent sauce are presented in different ways in the US and across the world.
Bang Bang is now in reference to different fried chicken, or fried shrimp dishes, or any sauce created with go with them; regardless of if any clubbing went into the preparation!
What Do You Use Bang Bang Sauce For?
Bang Bang sauce is most commonly eaten with chicken, fish or as a dipping sauce.
Here are some examples of how to use this sauce:
- Drizzled over fried or grilled chicken; either wings, nuggets, or breast.
- Drizzled over fish; such as fried shrimp, or added to fish tacos or other seafood meat.
- As a dipping sauce; for fries, onion rings, egg rolls etc.
- With potatoes; such as jacket potatoes,
- In burgers,
- In Stir Fry, or other vegetables
- With rice.
As you can see; it’s very versatile.
Where Can You Buy Bang Bang Sauce?
Bang Bang sauce is most readily available online; either through a retailer such as Amazon, or a specialty sauce store. Alternatively, you can go to bang bang sauce brands and buy from their websites directly.
For me, I wouldn’t look any further than on Amazon.
If you take a look over there, you’ll see numerous brands available and you can compare the variations, side by side.
And as you’ll soon see, they’re not all the same; the ingredients and recipes do differ somewhat.
How Do You Make Bang Bang Sauce?
Making your own Bang Bang sauce is incredibly quick, simple, and easy. It requires minimal, readily available ingredients and you do not need any specialist equipment, like a food processor or blender, either.
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons of Sweet Thai chili sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 2 Tablespoons of Maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons of Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon of Smoked Paprika
All you need to do is put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together thoroughly until well combined.
From there, either serve right away or refrigerate for 1-2 hours to give the ingredients additional time to infuse.
If you want to store this sauce, then be sure to transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge.
In doing so, it should last for at least 5-7 days fresh.
So that’s Bang Bang sauce; a condiment that derives from a popular street food snack.
But it’s become quite the sauce since then.
And it found its way onto the menus of many restaurants.
And many brands have made their own version and style.
So do give it a try; you have three options to do so and you won’t regret it.
That is if you like creamy, hot sauces, that is.
Hi there. I’m Jeremy – a passionate food technologist with several decades in the food industry. With a love for sauces, food, and nutrition, I decided to create WeWantTheSauce. Here I share my experience, knowledge, and recommendations; from ingredients and recipes to storage all the way through to nutrition for every sauce imaginable.