If there’s one thing that most people agree on, it’s that bang bang (BB) sauce has no business being called “sauce.”
In fact, if we were to take anything away from this article, it would probably be that.
But, before we get into that, let’s talk about what exactly is BB sauce anyway?
What Is In Bang Bang Sauce?
The ingredients are simple enough.
They include soy sauce, ketchup, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sugar, and chili pepper flakes.
But the way they combine together makes all of these flavors come alive.
The result is an incredibly thick and sweet condiment, perfect for dipping your favorite foods.
So how did someone come up with such a unique name for something so basic? Well, according to Urban Dictionary, it comes from a popular Korean food dish called bbangbap – which means stir-fried rice cake mixed with eggs and vegetables.
It was first served at restaurants as a side dish, but it eventually evolved into its own meal by itself, complete with fried chicken, beef, or pork.
And when you put those items under a hot broiler, you end up with some spicy meatballs known as bbangjip.
So yes, it seems like an obvious connection between two things that seem nothing alike.
And yet, it works beautifully.
Now that we know what goes into BB sauce, here are the steps involved in making it!
How Do You Make Bang Bang Sauce?
Bang bang (BB) sauce is actually just another name for soy-based barbecue sauce.
The main difference between the two sauces is that BBQ sauce tends to have more sugar, while BB sauce usually doesn’t.
There are different variations of BB sauce out there, but they all share some common characteristics:
- Soy sauce or tamari
- A blend of spices
- Powdered sweetener such as corn starch/stevia
- Tahini paste
The best part about making your own BB sauce is that you can add whatever ingredients you like! If you want something spicy, go ahead and use hot pepper flakes instead of cayenne powder.
If you prefer something sweeter, substitute agave nectar for honey.
And if you want something with less calories, opt for low fat versions of any of these ingredients.
All you need to start cooking up a batch of your very own homemade BB sauce!
What Is The Origin Of Bang Bang Sauce?
Bang bang is a popular condiment in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.
It can be found at almost any fast food restaurant or street side stall, but its popularity isn’t limited to those areas alone.
You can find it all over Asia, including Hong Kong, Japan, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and even parts of Africa like Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya.
It’s also been known as ‘chili lime fish sauce’, ‘fish sauce with chili powder’, ‘Malaysian hot sauce’, and ‘Thai green curry paste’ amongst other things.
The exact origins of bang bang are unknown, although many believe that it originated from Southeast Asia.
Where did bang bang come from?
The first written record of bang bang dates back to around 1820.
At the time, it was used as an ingredient in some Chinese cooking recipes, especially ones involving chicken, pork, beef, duck, and seafood dishes.
However, by the 1920s, it had become more of a staple condiment than just an ingredient.
In the 1930s, the British colonial government in Malaya introduced some changes to local laws regarding trade between countries.
One of these changes included banning the importation of non-traditional spices such as pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and ginger.
It wasn’t until after World War II when these restrictions were lifted.
As a result, the Malaysian economy grew rapidly, which led to increased demand for foreign goods, including imported ingredients like salt, sugar, rice, flour, tea, coffee, etc.
This boom in economic growth eventually resulted in the creation of several new industries, including the production of soy sauce, palm oil, and ketchup.
These products became so popular that they soon outsold traditional imports like black pepper and paprika.
As a result, the demand for fresh ingredients exploded across the region, resulting in the development of various regional cuisines.
The introduction of bang bang to the Malaysian market helped create a unique flavor profile that still exists today.
Bang bang is usually made using dried shrimp, garlic, shallots, chilies, vinegar, lemongrass, galangal root, pandan leaves, coriander roots, turmeric, cumin and fennel seeds, peppercorns, and salt.
Some brands will add coconut milk, while others may use MSG instead of salt.
How Spicy Is Bang Bang Sauce?
Bang bang sauce can range in spiciness depending on where you live.
For example, while some places like New York will have an average level of spice, other areas of the country might not even carry any at all.
So how do you know if your local grocery store sells something labeled as “Bang Bang Sauce” or just plain old ketchup?
Well, the best way to find out is by tasting it yourself.
The key here is to try it on different foods.
If it tastes too hot for you, then it’s time to move onto another condiment.
However, if it doesn’t taste too hot, then it’s safe to say that the sauce is mild enough to consume without much discomfort.
For our purposes, I recommend trying it on a small piece of chicken first.
Ideally, the sauce should coat the entire surface of the meat, but don’t worry if it only covers half of it – it still counts!
After that, it’s easier to gauge whether or not the sauce is too spicy for you because you can compare it to how it tasted when applied to the chicken meat.
The same goes for everything else such as fish sticks, pizza, etc.
What Dishes Is Bang Bang Sauce Typically Served With?
Bang bang sauce is made up of various ingredients including soybean paste, sugar, vinegar, garlic, ginger, chili peppers, sesame oil, fish sauce, rice wine, salt, pepper, and MSG.
It’s a sweet-and-spicy condiment used in many Asian dishes such as stir-fries, fried chicken, and Chinese food.
You can find recipes online for making your own homemade version of the sauce, but you may also buy some readymade versions at supermarkets or convenience stores.
If you’re not sure where to look, here are all the places you can buy bang bang sauce online.
What Is A Good Substitute For Bang Bang Sauce?
Bang bang sauce is essentially an Asian-inspired sweet chili dipping sauce made out of soy sauce, sugar, garlic, rice vinegar, and a few other ingredients that you can find in the fridge.
It’s not a very complicated or fancy sauce at all — it’s just delicious! Now, while some might argue that there are better sauces than BB sauce, they’re wrong because BB sauce isn’t meant to compete against any other type of sauce.
It doesn’t have the same complexity as your classic ketchup or barbecue sauce, but its flavor profile is so unique that you won’t ever want to change it up.
It’s also worth noting that BB sauce is different depending on where you live.
For example, in Japan, BB sauce is used as part of the Japanese hot pot dish known as yakitori, whereas in China, BB sauce is often paired with crispy fried chicken wings instead.
So, if you’re looking for a good substitute for BB sauce, the best option will depend on where you live and how much money you’ve got to spend.
Let’s start by taking a look at some of the cheapest options available.
The first step towards finding a suitable replacement for BB sauce is obviously going to involve substituting one ingredient for another.
The problem with soy sauce, however, is that it tends to taste flat compared to BB sauce.
However, if you don’t mind paying more per bottle, then you should consider checking out brands like Kikkoman.
Not only do these products offer higher quality and fewer additives than regular soy sauce, but they’re also great when it comes to price.
Rice Wine Vinegar
Next, try adding a splash of white wine vinegar to your jar of soy sauce.
You’ll see that the combination creates a slightly tangy flavor which is similar to BB sauce.
Another way to add some zing to your soy sauce mixture is by using homemade garlic juice.
To produce this concoction, simply squeeze fresh garlic cloves until their insides turn brown.
After straining the pulp through cheesecloth, transfer the liquid to a mason jar and store it in the refrigerator.
Once you’ve strained out the pulp, pour off the clear liquid, leaving behind the cloudy solids.
Then, mix the garlic juice with 1/4 cup of water to create a syrupy consistency.
Lastly, you could use miso paste, which is fermented soybeans that have been ground down into a powder form.
Miso paste adds both flavor and color to your dip, but it also helps reduce the sodium content of the final product since many varieties contain less salt than traditional soy sauce.
You can purchase miso paste online from sites such as Amazon or eBay, although you may need to search around for a brand that’s affordable enough for you to buy several bottles at once.
If you decide to go this route, be sure to check the expiration date on each package you pick up.
How Long Does Bang Bang Sauce Last?
It depends on who you ask.
Some say the sauce lasts forever in their fridge while others claim it only lasts a few weeks at best.
The truth is somewhere between those two extremes.
It really just depends on how much you use of each ingredient and your cooking habits as well.
If you keep the sauce in an airtight container and don’t open it very often then it will likely go longer than someone who uses it frequently or doesn’t store it correctly.
There are also many different brands out there so it’s hard to know which ones will stay fresh for a long time since they all have slightly different ingredients.
For example, some may contain vinegar instead of maltose syrup while others include sugar.
There’s not much else to recommend when it comes to determining whether or not Bang Bang sauce will remain fresh for years to come.
Bang Bang Sauce Ingredients
- Maltose Syrup
- Garlic Powder
- Black Pepper
- Onion Powder
- Carrot Powder
- Celery Seed Powder
- Red Chili Flakes
- Spice Mix
The key here is to find a brand with high-quality ingredients.
You want something with minimal preservatives like corn starch and salt, along with natural flavors such as garlic powder and onion powder.
Also, look for spices that aren’t synthetic – these can degrade over time.
Bang Bang Sauce Preparation
In order to prepare Bang Bang sauce, first add 1/4 cup of water into a small pan.
Then, mix together 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of maltose syrup until completely dissolved.
Next, pour the mixture into a large pot and bring the liquid to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.
At this point, add 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 3 teaspoons of salt, 4 cloves of minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
Stir constantly for 5 minutes after adding the oil.
Afterward, remove the pan from the stove and stir in 6 tablespoons of ketchup followed by 1/8 cup of water.
Allow the sauce to cool down for approximately 15 minutes before pouring it into an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator.
Once opened, the sauce should be used within 7 days.
Can Bang Bang Sauce Be Frozen?
Bang Bang sauce isn’t the only condiment you can buy in your local grocery store.
Other popular names include Sriracha or sambal oelek.
These two brands of chili garlic sauce have been around since at least the 1960s, but they aren’t nearly as well-known as their competitor.
This is because, unlike these other sauces, which are made with fresh ingredients, Bang Bang sauce contains MSG – a common ingredient found in many Chinese food dishes like chicken wings, fried rice, and even pizza toppings.
Because of its popularity among Asian communities, this ingredient is often added to foods without the consumer knowing it.
As such, it makes sense that bang bang sauce doesn’t freeze well.
When it comes to freezing, things don’t always go according to plan.
Whether it’s due to changes in texture or flavor, it’s hard to predict how something will behave when it goes through the freezer process.
So, while it may seem counterintuitive, you should definitely try to avoid freezing your bang bang sauce.
After all, it could lead to an unpleasant surprise later down the line.
What Are Some Similar Sauces To Bang Bang Sauce?
Bang-bang sauce is a sweet, spicy condiment made with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, sugar, chili pepper flakes, mustard seeds, onion powder, and salt.
It can also contain other spices such as paprika or cayenne pepper.
As the name implies, this sauce is supposed to give off an explosive sound when shaken, which is why you might hear someone refer to it by its nickname of “bang bang sauce.” The sound is actually created through the combination of several ingredients.
When they come together in a blender, they create a loud pop noise that sounds like a gunshot.
This is not just any old sauce though—it’s a specialty item that requires skill to prepare correctly.
Although it may seem complicated at first glance, its simplicity lies in the fact that all of the ingredients have multiple functions within the dish.
For example, the soy sauce acts as both flavor enhancer and thickener, while the vinegar helps bring out the natural flavors of the food items served alongside this sauce.
Because of how versatile this type of sauce is, it’s used across many different cuisines around the world.
From Asian cuisine to Italian cooking, everyone seems to have their own version of bang bang sauce.
What Are Some Common Bang Bang Sauce Recipes?
There isn’t really any set formula when making or buying bang bang sauce.
It does have some basic guidelines though – but these can vary depending on the brand.
Some of the more popular brands include Hunt’s, Kikkoman, and Trader Joe’s.
So with all that said, here are some general rules you should follow in order to create an authentic version of bang bang sauce at home.
- Use chicken broth as your base liquid. There’s nothing wrong with using water too, but you won’t taste much difference between those two options.
- Add soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and vinegar to your mix, along with other spices like garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, etc.
- Finally, add cornstarch to thicken up your sauce so it doesn’t separate out while cooking.
Now, just because you followed all those steps doesn’t mean that your homemade bang bang sauce will turn out perfectly every time.
But, by following them closely, you’ll end up with something pretty close to the real deal.
Keep reading to find out how to make bang bang sauce!
- 1 small mixing bowl
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sweet Thai chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- In a small mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, chili sauce, Sriracha, and rice vinegar until smooth.