Monday, 11 July 2016


"Bang Bang" is a traditional Chinese dish which refers to the noise made by the bashing of the chicken normally served with the dish with a wooden mallet in order to flatten it and make it easier to shred and scatter over the top of the accompaniments. The chicken is then normally served with a satay like peanut sauce and that is where the inspiration for this salad has come from. As this is a veggie salad there is obviously no chicken, just lots of fresh raw vegetables dressed in that delicious nutty sauce, perfect as a side dish at your next summer BBQ.

What you're essentially making here is a tossed raw vegetable salad which is perfect for any vegetarians or vegans you have in your household as long as you make sure all the  sauce ingredients you buy are friendly to their dietary requirements. The sauce recipe below isn't really one to be tampered with as I think the balance of the flavours is just right. What you can do if you want to tone down the spice a little bit is either leave out the Sriracha in the sauce or the chopped chillies in the salad. The cashews are kind of what make the sauce a Bang Bang sauce but if you are allergic you can leave them out with you wish and still enjoy all the other Asian flavours.

As for the salad leaves, I've left that kind of vague in the recipe below to allow you to choose whatever leaves you like. You can use a bag of pre prepared leaves or chop up some fresh lettuce. Don't use rocket as its pepperiness will not work with the sauce very well. If you really want to go all out Asian and you can get your hands on it why not use some pak choi leaves or chopped Chinese cabbage. Just make sure all your salad and veg is well washed before you start preparing everything as it is all being served raw on the plate.

This Bang Bang salad is delicious when served by itself especially as a side dish at a BBQ whenever we ever get the weather to have one of those again this year. You can also turn it into more of a substantial main by serving it alongside some sliced chicken breast or fish cakes. The recipe below however should be enough to serve between 4-8 people depending on whether you treat it as a side or a main.

Bang Bang Salad

2 Grated Garlic Gloves
A Thumbnail Sized Chunk Of Grated Ginger
1 Tsp Sriracha 
Juice Of 1 Lime
1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 Tsp Honey
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
2 Handfuls Of Cashew Nuts
1 Finely Diced Red Onion
200ml Vegetable Stock
150g Bag Of Washed Salad Leaves
1 Peeled Carrot
1 Yellow Pepper
1 Courgette
Large Handfull Of Beansprouts
4 Spring Onions
2 Finely Diced Green Chilies
A Handfull Of Finely Chopped Fresh Coriander Leaves 

  1. Place the garlic, ginger, Sriracha, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and 1 handful of the cashew nuts into a mortar and use a pestle to grind all the ingredients until the nuts are broken down and everything is combined. Leave to one side.
  2. Place a small lightly oiled pan on a medium heat and fry the red onion until it begins to soften. Add in the grinded cashew nut mixture and fry for 1 minute, stirring as you go before adding in the vegetable stock.
  3. Give everything a mix and then bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until the mixture reduces and becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  4. Place the salad leaves into a large bowl. Cut the carrot, pepper and courgette into thin matchsticks and add them to the bowl with the leaves. Next, add the beansprouts, shred the spring onions and add them to the bowl followed by the chilies and the chopped coriander leaves. Toss everything together until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. 
  5. Add in half of the cooled nutty Bang Bang sauce and toss it through the vegetables so everything is lightly coated in the sauce. Transfer the contents of the bowl to a serving platter and drizzle over the rest of the sauce. Slightly crush the remaining cashew nuts and scatter them over the top of the salad.
Take the salad on its serving platter over to the table with some serving tongs and get everyone to tuck in and help themselves. That delicious Bang Bang sauce with its Asian style flavors will have softened all the raw vegetables slightly whilst still leaving them with a satisfying crunch boosted by the cashew nuts dotted around in the sauce and scattered on top. The chopped coriander leaves add a burst of freshness to the salad working in tandem with the punch of spicy heat from the chopped chilies. It's not the most common of salads to serve up at dinnertime but there one thing it most definitely is and that's Bangin!

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