Recipes Main Dishes Chicken Main Dishes Korean Chicken Bao Buns

Crispy Fried Chicken Bao – the Korean Bao Buns Recipe

by Caroline Sciberras
1 comment 11 minutes read

Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 1hr
Total Time: 1hr 10 mins Yields: 6

korean fried chicken bao

Soft and fluffy Korean Chicken Bao Buns are the fusion of the delightful crispy and savory goodness of Korean fried chicken combined with the comforting embrace of steamed bao buns.

So what makes Crispy Fried Chicken Bao Buns so irresistible? Korean Chicken Bao never fails to impress when I prepare them.


What are Korean Chicken Bao Buns?

A Korean Chicken Bao Bun brings together the rich flavors of Korean cuisine with the versatile nature of Asian bao buns. It features succulent, crispy fried chicken as the main filling, accompanied by a variety of vibrant Korean-inspired toppings and sauces. The bao bun serves as a fluffy, slightly sweet bed that encases the crispy, juicy, flavorful chicken, creating a delightful combination of textures and tastes.

Why does this recipe work?

Korean Chicken Bao Buns offer a world of possibilities, allowing you to create a dish that suits your taste buds perfectly.

  1. Bao Bun fillings ideas: Get creative and feel free to add crispy pickled radishes, kimchi, a hard egg, or even a fried egg to elevate the flavors and textures.
  2. Sweet and spicy Bao Buns: If you enjoy a fiery kick, increase the heat by adding extra gochujang to the marinade or adding kimchi to your toppings.
  3. Vegetarian Option: For a vegetarian twist, substitute the fried chicken with crispy tofu or tempeh.
  4. Refreshing Side: Serve your Korean Chicken Bao Buns with a side of refreshing crispy Asian slaw, a light cucumber salad, or pickled vegetables providing a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of the bao buns.
  5. Air-fried Bao Buns: Try air-frying the marinated chicken for a healthier version but still crispy and tasty.
  6. Party Pleaser: Korean-style fried Chicken Bao makes an excellent party or game-day snack. A nice idea is to provide a bao-bun station with various fillings, toppings, and sauces, allowing your guests to customize their buns to their liking.
  7. Bao Bun Variations: Experiment with different types of bao buns, such as whole wheat or ube bao buns with purple sweet potato to add visual appeal and unique flavors to your traditional Korean chicken bao dish.
  8. Bao Bun dipping sauces galore: Expand your flavor options by serving an array of dipping sauces alongside your bao buns. Consider traditional Korean dipping sauces like soy-based ganjang or tangy ssamjang, as well as classic Chinese options like black bean sauce or sweet chili sauce.
  9. Bao Bun Dessert: After enjoying the savory Korean Chicken Bao Buns, satisfy your sweet tooth by preparing a dessert version. Fill the steamed buns with sweet red bean paste or Nutella, and sprinkle them with powdered sugar for a delightful treat.
  10. Beverage Pairings: Pair your Korean Chicken Bao Buns with a refreshing beverage such as Korean soju, a chilled glass of light beer, or a citrusy iced tea to complement the flavors and enhance your overall dining experience.

Additionally if you want to speed up the process for this dish, prepare and freeze the bao buns ahead or buy them from the store.

Crispy Fried Chicken in Bao Bun Recipe

Ingredients

For the Bao Buns

  • All-purpose flour (3 ¾ cups/450g)
  • Caster sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt (½ teaspoon)
  • Instant dried yeast (2 teaspoons/7g)
  • Full-fat milk (3 tablespoons)
  • Warm water (¾ cup + 2 tablespoons/210 ml)
  • Unsalted butter, soft (3 tablespoons)
  • Olive oil (1 tablespoon)

For the chicken and marinade:

  • Chicken breasts, sliced into bite-size chunks (4 chicken breasts)
  • Buttermilk (1 cup/240ml)
  • Salt (½ teaspoon)
  • White pepper (¼ teaspoon)
  • Garlic salt (¼ teaspoon)

For the crispy coating:

  • All-purpose flour (1 ½ cups/180g) or 00 flour substitute
  • Salt (1 teaspoon)
  • Black pepper, ground (1 teaspoon)
  • Garlic salt (½ teaspoon)
  • Celery salt (½ teaspoon)
  • Dried thyme (1 teaspoon)
  • Paprika, (1 teaspoon)
  • Baking powder (1 teaspoon )
  • Chilli flakes (1 teaspoon)
  • Vegetable oil (4 cups) for deep frying

For the Korean glaze

  • Sesame oil (1 tablespoon)
  • Vegetable oil (1 tablespoon)
  • Gochujang paste (2 tablespoons) 
  • Honey (2 tablespoons)
  • Brown sugar (4 tablespoons)
  • Soy sauce (4 tablespoons)
  • Garlic cloves (2 cloves), peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger

For serving

  • Green onion (½ cup), chopped thinly sliced
  • Lettuce or cabbage (½ cup), roughly chopped
  • Korean spicy mayo sauce (¼ cup)
  • Black and white sesame seeds (2 teaspoons)
  • Pickled radishes (¼ cup optional)

Instructions 

PREPARE THE DOUGH FOR THE BAO BUNS

  1. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a bowl.
  2. In a separate jug, mix together milk, warm water, and butter until the butter melts.
  3. Gradually add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture, starting with a spoon and then using your hands.
  4. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can use an electric mixer with a fitted dough hook.
  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with a damp tea towel, and allow it to double in size for about 90 minutes to 2 hours.
  6. While waiting for the dough to expand, move on to preparing the Korean Chicken.

PREPARE THE KOREAN CHICKEN

  1. Place the chicken in a bowl and add buttermilk, salt, pepper, and garlic salt.
  2. Mix well and cover.
  3. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

SHAPE THE BAO BUNS

  1. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead it again once the dough has doubled in size
  2. Divide the dough into 20 balls and place on a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Roll each ball into an oval shape, approximately 6cm x 9cm, using a rolling pin.
  4. Brush the ovals with olive oil and fold each one over so that the oil remains inside the fold. Leave a small space in the fold using a chopstick in the center (so the oil remains on the inside of the fold) removing the chopstick after folding.
  5. Arrange the buns on the parchment paper and then place them in trays that fit the oven or steamer.
  6. Cover each tray with clingfilm or a carrier bag, ensuring the clingfilm doesn’t touch the dough
  7. Set aside for another hour until they have puffed up.

COOK THE KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN

  1. Preheat the oven to low heat for keeping the cooked chicken warm.
  2. Heat a large pan of vegetable oil (or preheat a deep-fat fryer) until it reaches the desired temperature.
  3. Combine the ingredients for the crispy coating in a small bowl.
  4. Take a piece of chicken from the buttermilk mix, allowing the excess to drip off, and coat it in the crispy coating mixture, ensuring it is fully covered.
  5. Place it on a tray and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
  6. Add 10-12 chicken pieces to the frying oil, ensuring not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. See tips below for ensuring the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  7. Keep the cooked chicken warm in the oven while you cook the remaining pieces.

STEAM THE BUNS

  1. Meanwhile, bring a large steamer pan to a boil.
  2. Steam the buns in batches, using the baking parchment to hold them, for approximately 10 minutes. Once steamed, transfer them to a warm plate. See tips below for steaming.

PREPARE THE GLAZE

  1. While the chicken and bao buns are cooking, prepare the sauce.
  2. Combine gochujang, honey, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vegetable oil, and sesame oil in a saucepan.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes until it thickens.
  4. Place all the cooked chicken in a bowl and pour the sauce over it. Toss everything together to coat. You can leave the chicken chunks whole or slice them, depending on your preference.

ASSEMBLE THE KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN BAO BUNS

  1. Carefully open the bao buns and stuff them with the Korean fried chicken topping with green onion, lettuce or cabbage, radishes, sesame seeds, and Korean spicy mayo.
  2. Serve and enjoy.

Tips

  • For extra flavor, marinate the chicken overnight
  • To check if it’s cooked, cut open a piece – if it’s no longer pink in the middle, it’s done.
  • You can use a double-layer steamer pan, placing four buns in each layer.

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korean fried chicken bao

Korean Fried Chicken Bao Buns


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Bao Buns

  • 3 3/4 cups (450g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons (7g) instant dried yeast
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (210 ml) warm water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the chicken and marinade:

  • 4 chicken breasts, sliced into bite-size chunks
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

For the crispy coating:

  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour (or 00 flour substitute)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 4 cups vegetable oil for deep frying

For the Korean glaze

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang paste
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger

For serving

  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup lettuce or cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Korean spicy mayo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons black and white sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup pickled radishes (optional)


Instructions

PREPARE THE DOUGH FOR THE BAO BUNS

  1. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a bowl.
  2. In a separate jug, mix together milk, warm water, and butter until the butter melts.
  3. Gradually add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture, starting with a spoon and then using your hands.
  4. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can use an electric mixer with a fitted dough hook.
  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with a damp tea towel, and allow it to double in size for about 90 minutes to 2 hours.
  6. While waiting for the dough to expand, move on to preparing the Korean Chicken.

PREPARE THE KOREAN CHICKEN

  1. Place the chicken in a bowl and add buttermilk, salt, pepper, and garlic salt.
  2. Mix well and cover.
  3. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

SHAPE THE BAO BUNS

  1. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead it again once the dough has doubled in size
  2. Divide the dough into 20 balls and place on a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Roll each ball into an oval shape, approximately 6cm x 9cm, using a rolling pin.
  4. Brush the ovals with olive oil and fold each one over so that the oil remains inside the fold. Leave a small space in the fold using a chopstick in the center (so the oil remains on the inside of the fold) removing the chopstick after folding.
  5. Arrange the buns on the parchment paper and then place them in trays that fit the oven or steamer.
  6. Cover each tray with clingfilm or a carrier bag, ensuring the clingfilm doesn’t touch the dough
  7. Set aside for another hour until they have puffed up.

COOK THE KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN

  1. Preheat the oven to low heat for keeping the cooked chicken warm.
  2. Heat a large pan of vegetable oil (or preheat a deep-fat fryer) until it reaches the desired temperature.
  3. Combine the ingredients for the crispy coating in a small bowl.
  4. Take a piece of chicken from the buttermilk mix, allowing the excess to drip off, and coat it in the crispy coating mixture, ensuring it is fully covered.
  5. Place it on a tray and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
  6. Add 10-12 chicken pieces to the frying oil, ensuring not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. See the tips below for ensuring the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  7. Keep the cooked chicken warm in the oven while you cook the remaining pieces.

STEAM THE BUNS

  1. Meanwhile, bring a large steamer pan to a boil.
  2. Steam the buns in batches, using the baking parchment to hold them, for approximately 10 minutes. Once steamed, transfer them to a warm plate. See the tips below for steaming.

PREPARE THE GLAZE

  1. While the chicken and bao buns are cooking, prepare the sauce.
  2. Combine gochujang, honey, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vegetable oil, and sesame oil in a saucepan.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes until it thickens.
  4. Place all the cooked chicken in a bowl and pour the sauce over it. Toss everything together to coat. You can leave the chicken chunks whole or slice them, depending on your preference.

ASSEMBLE THE KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN BAO BUNS

  1. Carefully open the bao buns and stuff them with the Korean fried chicken topping with green onion, lettuce or cabbage, radishes, sesame seeds, and Korean spicy mayo.
  2. Serve and enjoy.

Notes

For extra flavor, marinate the chicken overnight

To check if it’s cooked, cut open a piece – if it’s no longer pink in the middle, it’s done.

You can use a double-layer steamer pan, placing four buns in each layer.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Steaming, Frying
  • Cuisine: Korean

Keywords: bao buns, chicken bao, koread fried chicken

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1 comment

Nina May 25, 2023 - 3:37 pm

This recipe is fantastic! It takes a little time to prepare the steamed bao buns from scratch, but it’s worth every effort. The only tip is to check you have the most essential ingredients in the pantry such as the gochujang paste. I didn’t have the garlic salt and celery salt and so I just omitted them I’ll make sure to add them to my shopping list for next time.






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