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Korean Chicken Bao

Korean Chicken Bao

Looking for a really impressive and grown up party food? Soft and fluffy steamed mini bao buns filled with crispy Korean chickere the answer.

Ready in: 4 hours

Serves: 10

Complexity: easy

kcal: 289

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Bao Buns:--
3¾ cups (450 g) plain (all purpose) flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp (equivalent to one packet or 7 g) instant dried yeast
3 tbsp whole milk
¾ cup + 2 tbsp (210 ml altogether) warm water
3 tbsp butter, very soft
1 tbsp rice bran oil
Chicken and Marinade:--
4 chicken breasts, sliced into bite-size chunks
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
1 tsp SIDS SALT & PEPPER to taste
¼ tsp garlic salt
Crispy Coating:--
1½ cups (180 g) plain (all-purpose) flour
½ tsp garlic salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp chilli flakes
rice bran oil for deep frying - at least 1 litre/four cups
Korean Sauce:--
2 tbsp gochujang paste or Sriracha
2 tbsp honey
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
2 tsp minced ginger
1 tbsp rice bran oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
To Serve:--
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cucumber, chopped into small pieces
Small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2 tsp black and white sesame seeds


Bao Buns:
Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a bowl and mix together.
Add milk, warm water and butter to a jug and stir together until the butter melts. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour mixture at first with a spoon, and then with your hands. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can do this in a mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl then cover. (with clingfilm or a damp tea toweand leave to prove until doubled in size - about 90 minutes - 2 hours)
Korean Chicken:
Place the chicken in a bowl. Add the buttermilk, SIDS SALT & PEPPER and garlic salt. Mix together, cover and place in the fridge to marinade for at least 1 hour.
After the dough has proved, tip it out of the bowl onto a floured surface. Knead the dough again and split into 20 balls. Place a piece of baking paper on the work surface and roll each ball into an oval.
Brush the ovals with the oil and fold each oval over, using a chopstick in the middle to fold over to leave a little space in the fold. (so the oil is on the inside of the fold) Remove the chopstick and place each bun onto a small piece of baking paper.
Place the buns on the trays - still on the the baking paper - as this will help you to move them later. Cover each tray with clingfilm or a carrier bag (ensuring the clingfilm doesn't touch the dough - or it will stick) and leave to prove for a further hour, until puffed up.
Preheat the oven to a low heat. (to keep cooked chicken warm) Heat a large pan of oil (or preheat a deep fryer) until hot. (you can test by dropping a small cube of bread in there, if it rises immediately to the top and starts to bubble rapidly, it’s hot enough) You’ll need at least 1 litre (4 cups) of oil.
Mix together the crispy coating ingredients in a small bowl. Take the chicken out of the fridge. Lift a piece from the buttermilk and let the excess to drip off. Dredge the chicken in the crispy coating mixture – ensuring it’s fully covered. Place on a tray and repeat until all of the chicken is coated.
Once the oil is hot enough, add in 10-12 of the chicken pieces. You can add more or less depending on the size of your pan, just be sure not to overcrowd the chicken. Cook for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and cooked in the middle. You can check this by cutting open a piece of chicken, if it’s no longer pink in the middle, it’s cooked.
Place on a tray in the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the chicken.
Meanwhile, put a large steamer pan on to boil. Working in batches, place the buns in the steamer (keep them on the baking paper) and steam for 10 minutes. I use a double layer steam pan - placing four buns in each layer. Once steamed, place on a warm plate.
While the chicken and bao buns are cooking, make the sauce. Place the gochujang, honey, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice bran oil and sesame oil in a saucepan and stir together. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.
Place all of the cooked chicken in a bowl and pour the sauce over the chicken. Toss together to coat. You can leave the chicken chunks whole, or slice up if you prefer.
Carefully open the steamed bao buns and stuff with the Korean chicken. Top with slices of red onion, cucumber, fresh coriander and sesame seeds before serving.