Crispy Korean Chicken Bao

Crispy Korean Chicken Bao

As promised, I have a legit Bao recipe for you!  They are soft, fluffy and magical. I wasn't happy with a recipe I tried recently, so I learnt some lessons from it and created a completely different recipe and method that works a dream! It takes a bit of time and effort, but so worth it. I was so impressed with the result, that I had to make crispy Korean-style chicken to fill these beauties, along with the usual julienne carrot, cucumber, pickled red cabbage, fresh coriander and mint. I did not have spring onion, but feel free to add some, thinly sliced). So, a similar Asian flavour profile to my previous recipe post. This Crispy Korean Chicken is scrumptious, so tender and crispy. And the sauce it is dunked into just after frying is flippen fantastic. A mood booster of note in these zombie apocalyptic times. Also, I find making bao, so cathartic, I'm slightly addicted now.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 12 pieces


Bao Bun Dough:

  • 300 g all purpose flour
  • ¼ c (60 ml) potato flour ( I used Bob's Red Mill) - I believe this ingredient make these buns, un[bao]lievable!
  • ¼ c (60 ml) castor sugar
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
  • 10 g dry instant yeast
  • 100 ml water
  • 125 ml milk
  • 20 g butter

Crispy Korean Chicken:


    • 4 chicken breast fillets sliced into bite sized chunks
    • 180 ml buttermilk
    • Salt and black pepper


    • 1 ½ c (375 ml) all purpose flour
    • ¼ c (60 ml) cornflour
    • 1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
    • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) paprika
    • Salt and black pepper
    • Korean Dipping Sauce:
    • 3 garlic cloves crushed
    • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) grated garlic
    • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) Gochujang (fermented red chilli paste) or replace with Sriracha or 2 tsp (10 ml) red chilli paste/sambal oelek
    • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) Sriracha sauce or more Gochujang
    • (80 ml) soy sauce
    • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) honey
    • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil
    • Cooking oil for deep frying

    To serve:

    • Julienne cucumber and carrots
    • Pickled red cabbage*
    • Fresh coriander and mint
    • Optional thinly sliced spring onion
    • Optional Sriracha mayo


    How to make Bao Buns:

    • Sift the flour, potato flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast.
    • Gently heat the water, milk and butter together until butter is melted. This mixture needs to be lukewarm, not hot.
    • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. Knead for 5 minutes. Don't knead too much, we don't want to gluten to be overworked. Grease the same bowl, add the dough, cover and allow to proof in warm area for 1 hour and 20 minutes for so. It should be double in size.
    • Meanwhile, cut the baking paper into 12 pieces of 8 x 8 cm squares.
    • Knock the air out of the dough and roll into a log shape. Cut into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls.
    • Roll the balls out onto the baking paper squares into oval shapes of +- 6 x 8 cm.
    • Dip a chopstick into a bottle of olive oil. Place in the center of one rolled out oval. Fold over the chopstick to meet the opposite side. Gently remove the chopstick. Repeat process with the rest of the bao. Leave them on the baking paper squares, place onto a large tray, cover gently with cling film and proof for 1 hour.
    • Meanwhile, prepare the Korean chicken and vegetables and herbs for serving.
    • When ready to serve, place 3 bao at a time in a steamer (electric, bamboo or pot set) and steam for 5 minutes.

    How to make Crispy Korean Chicken:

    • Combine the chicken and buttermilk, season well with salt and pepper. Marinate while preparing coating and sauce.
    • In a large bowl, mix the coating ingredients together.
    • Place all the Korean Dipping Sauce ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until fragrant and slightly viscous.
    • Heat oil for deep frying.
    • When ready to serve, place batches of marinated pieces of chicken in the coating mixture and shake until coated evenly. Fry in moderately hot oil until golden and crispy. Remove and dunk directly into heated Korean dipping sauce.
    • Serve!
    • Gently tear the warm bao buns open and fill with carrot, cucumber, pickled cabbage, crispy Korean chicken and fresh herbs.
    • Serve with optional Sriracha mayo.
    • Tip: Feel free to serve the Korean sauce on the side for drizzling generously on your filled bao buns!


     Pickled red cabbage:
     Thinly slice some cabbage and place in a bowl. Pour over equal amounts of boiling water and vinegar with sugar to taste. Allow to steep for as long as possible.
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!