3-Ingredient Bang Bang Sauce Is Too Versatile To Ignore

Bang bang shrimp has been a popular menu item at the seafood-focused restaurant chain Bonefish Grill since it was first added, as a special, in 2007. Fortunately, the ingredients of the shrimp's signature sauce have never been a secret. The eponymous bang bang sauce simply blends mayonnaise, Sriracha, and sweet Thai chili sauce, with a soupçon of vinegar as an optional fourth ingredient.

It's easy to make at home, in other words, and mastering a bang bang shrimp recipe is only the beginning. Bang bang sauce is amazingly versatile and makes almost everything it comes in contact with sweeter, creamier, spicier, and more delicious, from all the seafood not named shrimp to chicken (of the breast, wings, tenders, or nugget variety), burgers, tacos, and veggies like broccoli. Did we mention it's also a great sandwich spread and can be used as an insane dipping sauce for French fries, too? Well, it is, and it can be.

In fact, there's almost nothing bang bang sauce can't make better — and that includes pasta. 

Versatility of uses and ingredients for bang bang sauce

The versatility of bang bang sauce is illustrated not just by the myriad food items it can improve, but the way its ingredients can be changed for different diets. Greek yogurt, notably, has a higher vitamin and mineral content than mayonnaise, not to mention more protein. It also boasts probiotics, which may help to improve gut health (per the Cleveland Clinic). All this without losing the creaminess that makes mayo such a sought-after base for sandwich spreads, dipping sauces, and salad dressings.

Regardless of whether mayo substitutes are used, bang bang sauce is made by whisking the ingredients together until a uniformly smooth and creamy texture is achieved. It can be prepared up to two days in advance of use, with Sriracha slowly added until the desired spiciness level is reached. Chicken, even more than shrimp, is perhaps the most natural pairing partner. Long before Bonefish Grill invented the modern sauce, bang bang chicken was a shredded street food favorite in the Sichuan province of China, complete with a spicy sauce as an accompaniment.

It's a perfect pairing partner for fried foods of all kinds — from international types of fried chicken to fried fish, French fries, and egg rolls — but also can be part of a balanced meal. Broccoli, for example, is excellent with bang bang sauce, as are salads with the sauce used as dressing. Regardless of use, however, it can be refrigerator-stored for five to seven days.

What's the difference between bang bang and yum yum sauces?

Bang bang and yum yum are among the best sauce recipes to practice and master not to mention being among the most fun to say, It bears noting, however, that despite these and other similarities, they are not the same thing. Long a favorite at Japanese hibachi-style restaurants like Benihana, yum yum sauce became so popular that it was ultimately bottled as a condiment (most famously, by restaurateur Terry Ho). Like bang bang, yum yum is mayonnaise-based and a bit spicy, and both have frequently been served with shrimp. But unlike bang bang, which gets its spice from Sriracha and sweet Thai chili sauces, yum yum's spiciness is courtesy of ingredients like paprika and cayenne pepper. 

Bang bang sauce is more similar to Sriracha mayo, with which it shares two of its three ingredients. Sriracha mayo is a versatile sandwich spread and dipping sauce, too, and for the same basic reason as bang bang sauce. Mayo is considered a stable building block for sauces of all kinds, but because of its neutral flavor, chili-pepper-based sauces like Sriracha and sweet Thai chili are often added for more oomph. It's why bang bang sauce tastes good on virtually everything. 

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