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Korean Chicken Bao Buns

Updated: Feb 26

I love trying new recipes and getting the family to try new things. My kids loved these Chicken Bao Buns and they went crazy over these. The sticky and spicy sauce was delicious. Made the kids lick their fingers. The best part was, I was able to create these without a steamer. I made a make shift one with an aluminium container and I poked holes in the bottom. The purpose of this was to make this recipe accessible to those who do not have a steamer or fancy equipment. I didn't want people to be limited when making this recipe.

The crunch of the fresh vegetables cut though the spice and give a burst of freshness to this dish. These buns are addictive, we barely had enough left to take pictures.

Preparation Time 1 hour plus 3 hours to rise

Cook Time 30 minutes

Yields 20 bao buns


Bao bun dough

3 3/4 cups / 450 grams all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons / 7 grams instant yeast

3 tablespoons milk

3/4 cup warm water

3 tablespoons butter- softened

1 tablespoon oil

Chicken and marinade

4 chicken breasts - in cubes

1 cup / 240 ml buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Crispy Coating

1/2 cup / 180 grams all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

vegetable oil for deep frying

Korean Sauce

2 tablespoons sriracha

2 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons brown sugar

4 tablespoons soya sauce

2 cloves garlic- minced

2 teaspoons ginger- minced

1 tablespoons veg oil

To serve

1 small red onion- thinly sliced

1/2 cup red and green cabbage- sliced

fresh coriander leaves

1 tablespoon sesame seeds


  1. Make bao buns: Combine the warm water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl. Mix well and leave to bloom for 10 minutes.

  2. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast mixture, warm milk and softened butter to the dry ingredients. Knead on a medium speed for 10 minutes. The dough will come together and pull away from the sides. The sough should be smooth.

  3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and prove for 2 hours until doubled in size.

  4. Brine the chicken: Place the chicken in a bowl. Add the buttermilk, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix well. Cover and marinate for 1 hour.

  5. After the dough proves, split the dough into 20 pieces. Roll into small balls.

  6. Roll out each ball into an oval measuring 9cm by 6 cm. Brush the oval with oil. Place a wooden skewer in the middle of the oval and fold the dough over. the skewer will leave a little space in the fold.

  7. Place each bao bun on a small piece of parchment paper, to prevent the buns from sticking to the baking tray.

  8. Place on baking tray to rise for 60 minutes.

  9. If you have a steamer, then use your steamer to steam the buns with the parchment paper still attached. But do remember to remove the skewers from the middle of the buns.

  10. Combine the ingredients for the crispy coating. Set aside.

  11. For the chicken: After the chicken has brined for an hour. Remove the chicken from the butter milk and shake off the excess. Discard of the buttermilk.

  12. Coat the chicken in the crispy coating we made earlier. Shake off the excess coating and fry until golden brown.

  13. Combine the Korean sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook the sauce until sticky and syrupy. Pour this sauce over the fried chicken. Mix well.

  14. Assemble the Bao Buns: Open the steamed buns, Stuff with the chicken, top with sliced onion, red and white cabbage. Top with coriander leaves, sesame seeds and additional sauce.

  15. Serve with the leftover sauce.

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