Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken Breast

Difficulty Easy

To avoid dry and tasteless chicken, make easy and delicious Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken Breast. Pantry spices and sweet chili mayo locks in all the flavor and juices. Score the meat and cook in the Air Fryer for a juicy, tender, flavorful protein that tastes great with rice, noodles, or salad!

What is Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken Breast?

Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken is a healthy and delicious chicken breast recipe that’s fast, easy, and incredibly juicy. Made in the Air Fryer, it’s shockingly easy yet produces very tasty results.

Generally, I don’t prefer chicken breast as a protein because it tends to be dry and tasteless. But in this case, a hefty dose of seasoning plus a dollop of sweet chili mayo sauce keeps everything moist and flavorful. The mayonnaise, especially, seals in the moisture and locks in all that good flavor and juices.

Over the years, Bang Bang Chicken has taken on different iterations. While researching the origins and etymology, I came upon a few variations:

  • Traditional Chinese Sichuan dish. Poached, shredded chicken served with julienned cucumbers and an irresistible spicy sauce. “Bang Bang” refers to the sound as it’s pounded into bite-sized shredded pieces with a mallet or rolling pin.
  • Americanized Chinese dish. Panko-breaded, crispy chicken chunks are deep-fried and drizzled with a sweet chili mayo sauce. “Bang Bang” refers to the slangy, colloquial way of describing the spicy nature of the sauce and/or its incredibly tasty nature.

My recipe represents yet another form — this time, as a viral TikTok recipe! I’ve seen variations throughout my FYP (For You Page), made conveniently in the Air Fryer. Like the Americanized Chinese version, it stars a sweet and spicy chili mayo sauce. However, it’s not breaded and fried. Instead, it’s conveniently cooked in the Air Fryer.

The appeal of this dish is easy to understand. Made with basic pantry ingredients, it’s a simple and delicious way to put dinner on the table!

close up of air fryer bang bang chicken

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breast. Boneless, skinless chicken breast is thick, meaty, and full of lean protein. Look for plump chicken with a pale pink color trimmed of fat and no excessive liquid pooling at the bottom of the package. Also, check the freshness date that’s stamped onto the label.
  • Salt and Pepper. Season generously with salt and pepper for a flavorful final dish.
  • Garlic Powder, Paprika, Cayenne, Oregano. The ingredients for the dry seasoning that’s rubbed onto the chicken breast. Basic pantry spices that can be found in most kitchens.

For the Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce Mayo:

  • Asian Sweet Chili Sauce. A bottled sauce that’s mildly spicy with a sweet and spicy tang. Also good as a dip with spring rolls and Crispy Coconut Shrimp.
  • Mayonnaise. The creamy sauce base keeps the chicken moist and flavorful. If you have it, I recommend Kewpie Japanese Mayonnaise, which is sweeter and richer than regular mayo. Regular mayo also works. Swap with plain 2% milk-fat yogurt if you prefer.
  • Sriracha. Add more or less Sriracha to make it as spicy as you like.
ingredients for bang bang chicken

Instructions:

  1. Score. To help the seasoning penetrate into the meat, score first. Using a sharp knife, cut into the meat with 1/2-inch deep straight lines about 1-inch apart. Then score in the opposite direction, creating a diagonal pattern. Make sure not to cut all the way down or it will fall apart.
  2. Season. Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, paprika, oregano, and cayenne. Mix until well combined. Evenly divide the spices into two portions and sprinkle over the meat. Season both sides and in every nook and cranny of the scored top.
  3. Make Bang Bang sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, and sriracha. Dollop one spoonful of sauce (about 1 Tbsp) onto each breast, making sure not to contaminate the remaining sauce with raw chicken. Smooth the Bang Bang sauce with the back of a spoon. Reserve the rest of the sauce for later drizzling and dipping.
  4. Air fry. Add a parchment liner to the bottom of the preheated Air Fryer. Using tongs, add to the basket. Make sure not to overcrowd — there should be space around each piece so the air can flow around. Cook at 380F/190C until fully cooked through, about 12-14 minutes, depending on thickness. Rest the meat for 5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute and the meat to relax.
  5. Garnish and serve. Drizzle with the reserved sauce. Sprinkle with green onion or chopped cilantro. Serve with rice, noodles, or salad.

Watch how to make it:

PRO Tips:

  • Preheat. Like an oven needs to be preheated, so does an Air Fryer! Preheating will ensure more evenly cooked, juicy meat.
  • Don’t crowd the meat. To ensure even cooking, create enough space for the air to circulate around. They can lightly touch each other but do not pack tightly together.
  • Rest the chicken. For juicy meat, it’s very important to rest after cooking. Do not cut immediately — or all the juices will spill out and create a dry, cardboard texture. Instead, rest for 5 minutes so it can relax and redistribute all the juices for more tender chicken.
  • Swap with thighs. Swap with boneless skinless chicken thighs for a juicier final dish. They tend to be smaller and thinner than breasts, so adjust the cook time accordingly.

Essential Kitchen Tools:

  • Air Fryer (affiliate). Air Fryers work as mini convection ovens. A detachable basket helps to circulate air all around food items. They make food super crispy with minimal oil. There are several types of Air Fryers on the market — find one that fits your budget and looks good on your countertop. I use mine almost daily.
  • Parchment liner (affiliate). Optional but good for collecting messy drips and spills. I recommend the kind with holes so the air will circulate better.
Cosori Air Fryer on kitchen counter

Serve with:

For a fast, easy meal, serve with white rice or noodles. Steamed veggies such as broccoli complete the meal.

Also tastes good with ready-made, bagged salad. I recommend Asian Cashew Salad from Costco.

FAQ:

How do I store leftovers?

Leftovers can be stored, tightly sealed, in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the Air Fryer until hot, about 2-3 minutes at 380F. Store extra sauce in a separate container.

Can I make this without an Air Fryer?

Yes! This recipe can be baked in a regular oven but it will take longer. Bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan in a pre-heated oven at 375F/190C for 15-18 minutes. The internal temperature should read 165F/73C.

Help! Why does the top of the chicken keep burning?

If the top burns or becomes too brown, add less sauce. You only need 1 spoonful per chicken breast. Also, make sure to spread evenly. Otherwise, you may need to lower the temperature.

bang bang chicken in bowl with noodles on the side

More chicken recipes:

More Air Fryer recipes:

air fryer bang bang chicken breast with noodles

Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken

Lis Lam
To avoid dry and tasteless chicken, make easy and delicious Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken Breast. Pantry spices and sweet chili mayo locks in all the flavor and juices. Score the meat and cook in the Air Fryer for a juicy, tender, flavorful protein that tastes great with rice, noodles, or salad!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian, Fusion Food
Servings 2
Calories 466 kcal

Equipment

  • Air Fryer
  • Parchment Liner
  • tongs

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large Chicken Breasts *about 280 grams each
  • salt and pepper *to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne *reduce to 1/4 tsp for less spicy flavor
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp Asian sweet chili sauce
  • 1-2 Tbsp Sriracha *add according to spicy preference
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped green onion or cilantro *optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat. Preheating the Air Fryer will ensure more evenly cooked, juicy chicken. My Air Fryer preheats at 400F/204C for 5 minutes.
  • Score. To help the seasoning penetrate into the meat, score first. Using a sharp knife, cut into the chicken with 1/2-inch deep straight lines about 1-inch apart. Then score in the opposite direction, creating a diagonal pattern. Make sure not to cut all the way down into the chicken or it will fall apart.
  • Season. Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, paprika, oregano, and cayenne. Mix until well combined. Evenly divide the spices into two portions and sprinkle over the chicken breast. Make sure to season both sides and in every nook and cranny of the scored top.
  • Make Bang Bang sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, and sriracha. Dollop one spoonful of sauce (about 1 Tbsp) onto each chicken breast, making sure not to contaminate the remaining sauce with raw chicken. Smooth the Bang Bang sauce over the chicken with the back of a spoon. Reserve the rest of the sauce for later drizzling and dipping.
  • Air fry. Add a parchment liner to the bottom of the preheated Air Fryer. Using tongs, add the chicken to the basket. Make sure not to overcrowd — there should be space around each piece so the air can flow around. Cook at 380F/190C until fully cooked through, about 12-14 minutes, depending on thickness.
  • Rest the meat. Remove the Air Fryer basket from and set on the counter. Rest the meat for 5 minutes, undisturbed, so the juices will redistribute and the meat can relax.
  • Garnish and serve. Drizzle with the reserved sauce. Sprinkle with green onion or chopped cilantro. Serve with rice, noodles, or salad.

Video

Notes

*Leftovers can be stored, tightly sealed, in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the Air Fryer until hot, about 2-3 minutes at 380F. Store extra sauce in a separate container.
Pro Tips:
    • Don’t crowd the chicken. To ensure even cooking, create enough space for the air to circulate around the chicken. They can lightly touch each other but do not pack tightly together.
    • Swap with thighs. Swap with boneless skinless chicken thighs for a juicier final dish. They tend to be smaller and thinner than chicken breast, so adjust the cook time accordingly.
  •  
    • Bake in a conventional oven. If you don’t have an Air Fryer, bake in a regular oven. Bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan in a preheated oven at  375F/190C for 15-18 minutes. The internal temperature should read 165F/73C.

Nutrition

Calories: 466kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 49gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 153mgSodium: 824mgPotassium: 913mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 810IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Air Fryer, Bang Bang Chicken
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
15 minutes, Air Fryer, All Recipes, Asian, Chicken, Weeknight Meals

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I have had thawed out chicken breasts in my fridge for the past few days and I decided to make this recipe – it is SO DELICIOUS, SO FLAVORFUL, SO EASY, SO ALL THE THINGS! I don’t think I can stop with having just a small chunk with supper, I’m going to have to eat the whole dang thing. It is also so pretty after cooked. My only regret is that my AirFryer is small and to avoid crowding, I am doing these chickies one at a time with my homemade hole punched parchment paper cut outs. This is great – thank you for such a yum yum recipe.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating