Filipino-Syle “Bang Bang” Noodles + Asian Pantry Essentials

by Feb 21, 2017

It’s the “dressing” that works the magic here.  Tahini makes it rich and creamy, chile paste (“Sambal Oelek”) and Chinese black vinegar (“Chinkiang vinegar”) bring the heat and tang.


Toss it with veggies, cooked chicken, any kind of noodle, and you have dinner. I used Chinese lo mein, but anything from rice noodles to Italian spaghetti, even spiralized zucchini, would work great.  Recipe adapted from Bill McCarthy, a CIA officer turned Southeast Asian cooking teacher. Another of his delicious recipes is Shrimp with Thai Chiles & Ginger.



chinese lo mein noodles from Organic Planet


For my Asian cooking, I’ve simplified to these Pantry Essentials: chile paste, Chinkiang vinegar, Japanese soy sauce, roasted sesame oil, sake (for “cooking wine”), rice wine vinegar (unseasoned), and two pre-made sauces (the only ones I make room for in my refrigerator):  Lee Kum Kee’s Hoisin and Mae Ploy’s Sweet Chile Sauce.


With that stuff in your pantry and a fresh supply of green onions, garlic, and ginger, not only can you transform a store-bought rotisserie chicken into Chinese chicken salad, you can make fried rice, stir fries, noodle and veggie slaws, and dipping sauces for spring rolls and dumplings.


Filipino-Style Bang Bang Noodles

adapted from Bill McCarthy

Servings 4



  • 3 green onions, split lengthwise and finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp sake
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek chile paste
  • ½ tbsp sugar

Noodles, Protein, and Vegetables

  • 8 ounces lo mein or other noodle, cooked al dente
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 8 ounces cooked chicken, shredded poached, see notes or purchase rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1 cup green beans, blanched, split and julienned see notes
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned


  1. Mix dressing ingredients in 2-cup glass measuring cup. Set aside.

  2. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain, place in serving bowl, and drizzle with sesame oil. Add chicken and vegetables and drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes / Tips

  • Poach chicken breasts in hot water until cooked to 160° F. (Boil water, add chicken, cover pan, turn off heat, check temp after 20 minutes.) Cool and shred into bite-sized pieces.
  • To Blanch green beans: Boil water, add a pinch or two of salt, submerge the green beans for a couple minutes then transfer to an ice bath to "shock" and stop the cooking. Remove from water after a minute or two and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. (Flour sack towels are what you want for food prep like this.)


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