Bao buns

Bao buns have recently become a street food craze- they are pillowy buns (referred to in China as ‘chinese hamburgers’) and are filled with a variety of meats or vegetables. Today I have decided to make a cheat’s fried chicken one- using frozen breaded chicken to avoid the faff of frying it yourself. A veggie one works great with ‘KFC’- korean fried cauliflower popcorn (see other recipe on blog).

Ingredients: (makes 8)

For the dough:

Dry mix:

  • 1 and 3/4 cup measurements of plain flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast

Wet mix:

  • 1/2 cup measurement of warm water
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp milk

For the filling:

  • 8 pieces of breaded oven chicken- make sure you get the 100% chicken ones (or see recipe of KFC “Korean fried cauliflower” on blog)
  • Some hoisin sauce
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • Some cucumber strips
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste (korean chilli paste)
  • 2 tbsp honey/ sugar
  • 1 tbsp ketchup or tomato paste
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  1. Start by making the dough. Mix together all the dry mix.
  2. Then put the wet mix together in a bowl and microwave for about 1 minute, for the butter to melt.
  3. Then add the wet mix into the dry mix.
  4. Knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes until formed together.
  5. Then place in a bowl, which has been lined with sesame oil (or normal oil if you don’t have sesame). Leave the dough in there to rise, covered fully with a tea towel, and left in a warm place (near a radiator is good), for 1.5 hours.
  6. After this, the dough should have risen. Divide into 8 balls.
  7. Roll each ball, so it creates a ball with a smooth surface.
  8. Then flatten out with a rolling pin, until a flat circle. Brush sesame oil on this.
  9. Place on greaseproof paper, and add a chopstick to hold the bun in place. Leave to rise for a further hour.
  10. Then steam for 10-15 minutes using a bamboo steamer (or metal steamer if you don’t have one). You need to line the steamer with baking paper, which has been punctured with a few holes, to allow the steam to come through. I usually do this on top of a wok with boiling water in it and use a lid on the steamer to trap the steam.
  11. For the filling- cook your oven breaded chicken in oven (according to packet instructions).
  12. Then add the sauce ingredients in a pan until warm.
  13. Once the chicken is cooked, cover it with the sauce ingredients.
  14. Fry some spring onions in a little sesame oil.
  15. To ensemble the bao bun, spread on hoisin sauce. Then add the chicken, spring onion, cucumber and a little extra of the sauce used for the chicken. Top with sesame seeds.


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