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Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken (Easy recipe!)

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These crisp and juicy Asian bang bang chicken bites are made right in the air fryer and drizzled with a homemade creamy sweet chili mayo. The perfect appetizer for parties or for entertaining at home.

bang bang chicken nuggets on a plate with sauce drizzled on top

The best part is this Chinese-style bang bang chicken is not fried.

With the air fryer, you can achieve the same taste and crunchy texture in 30 minutes! I am always using my air fryer or stovetop for quick teriyaki chicken dinners, Sweet Thai Chicken or sesame chicken. This recipe is also delicious with egg rolls.

There’s no deep frying involved, so that you can indulge in this recipe without guilt. Serve it with the Bang Bang Sauce as dip if you love it or coat it with the sauce and enjoy.

bang bang chicken ingredients on a marble surface
ingredients for bang bang chicken

Recommended ingredients for the best air fryer bang bang chicken:

chicken ingredients

  • chicken breast fillets- cut into bite-size pieces
  • buttermilk
  • all-purpose flour
  • cornstarch– helps get the chicken crisp
  • eggs, beaten
  • seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper
  • panko bread crumbs– makes for a crispier chicken breading
  • hot sauce– your preferred brand
bang bang sauce ingredients
To make the sauce, simply add the ingredients and whisk!

bang bang sauce ingredients

  • mayonnaise
  • sweet chili sauce
  • hot sauce- Sriracha is best
  • honey– omit if you prefer a tangier bang bang sauce
prepping chicken with bang bang ingredients in a bowl
Prep for this bang bang chicken is a cinch!

marinade instructions

  1. In a bowl mix buttermilk, cornstarch, all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, hot sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and egg.
  2. Next, add in the chicken pieces and mix properly. Let it rest for 30 minutes in the marinade.
adding uncooked chicken to air fryer
don’t forget to chill before adding to air fryer
chicken freshly cooked in air fryer
perfectly golden nuggets

air frying instructions

  1. After marinating, coat with bread crumbs. Chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  3. 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. Serve with bang bang sauce.

how to make the sauce

To make this easy bang bang sauce, simply whisk the sauce ingredients in a bowl.

above view of table set with bang bang chicken and a blue napkin
crisp to perfection every time

tips

  • Avoid overcrowding. The heated air must flow around them (for proper convection).
  • Please allow your chicken to dry! Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel as much as possible.
  • Seasonings for dry rubbed chicken should be added after the chicken bits have cooked for a few minutes.
close up of bang bang chicken with garnish

FAQ

Can I use frozen chicken for this recipe?

Air frying from frozen may be convenient, but for best results with this recipe, I suggest using fresh chicken.

Frozen chicken contains a lot of liquid. Excess moisture will collect in the basket when they defrost, causing steam, making chicken boil.

hand grabbing a piece of bang bang chicken from plate
bet you can’t only have one

how do I make this recipe without an air fryer?

If cooking your chicken in the oven, follow these simple directions:

  1. Prepare the bits and sauce as directed. Preheat oven to 425°F when ready to bake.
  2. Cook for 20 minutes on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
  3. After 20 minutes, turn the chicken and cook for another 20 minutes, or until done. Toss in the sauce, broil for approximately 3 minutes.

Can you freeze chicken after air frying?

Yes, chicken may be frozen for 3 months. After cooking in the air fryer, place bits in a freezer bag and freeze, making sure there’s enough space so they do not get stuck together. The Thai chili sauce may also be frozen, lying flat, in zippered bags. 

pouring sauce on bang bang chicken

how to reheat bang bang chicken

Microwave bang bang chicken for 45-60 seconds until hot and steaming. Alternately, warm in the oven for 10 minutes at 350°F.

what to serve with bang bang chicken

There are lots of great sides for Bang Bang Chicken, including a side of sautéed veggies, fried rice, egg roll, ramen or wonton soup.

bang bang chicken with sauce on a black plate

Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken

This crispy and juicy chicken bites drizzled with creamy sweet chili mayo is absolutely delicious and is equally loved by all. Perfect appetizer for house parties or picnics.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 530kcal
Author: Amber

Equipment

  • Air fryer

Ingredients

Bang Bang Sauce

Instructions

  • In a bowl mix buttermilk, cornstarch, all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, hot sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and egg. Next, add in the chicken pieces and mix properly. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Next take the chicken pieces out from marinate allowing excess to drip off. Then coat them properly with the bread crumbs.
  • Arrange the coated chicken on a baking tray and keep it inside the refrigerator to chill for at least half an hour.
  • Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 180-degrees C / 350-degrees F. Brush the basket with little oil and put the coated chicken in it. 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.
  • Next mix all the ingredients under Bang Bang sauce.
  • Pour the sauce over the air-fried chicken and toss properly or serve it as a dip.
  • Serve hot garnished chopped cilantro or chopped green onion.

Notes

NOTE: You can store the air-fried chicken nuggets and sauce separately in an air-tight container for 4 days in the refrigerator or around 2 months in the freezer. (Do not coat it with sauce while storing).

Nutrition

Calories: 530kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 761mg | Potassium: 398mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 263IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 2mg

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