Quite simply, this delicious food is perfect eaten in the garden for a street-food vibe or piled onto plates inside for people to assemble themselves!
I return to bao time and time again and this is the sort of food that makes me VERY happy.
You can buy bao buns ready to steam at home, but if you want to make them my recipe is here.
It is well worth making a large batch of buns, steaming them and freezing them so that you can be ready to make this delicious chicken dish speedily!
I like to fill these buns with a sriracha mayonnaise (1 part sriracha to 4 parts mayo, perhaps with a squeeze or two of lime) and pickled veg (recipe at the link above).
I made these in my air-fryer (it is getting a LOT of use!) but if you do not have an air-fryer, you can simply pan-fry the coated chicken in a little oil on both sides until cooked through or cook in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Recipe: crispy ginger and soy chicken bao – serves 4-6 generously
For the chicken and marinade:
- 4 chicken thighs, boned, skinned and sliced into strips
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2” piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
- a little red chilli, finely chopped, optional
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 5 tablespoons plain flour or crushed panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder or chilli flakes, optional
- a few sprays of vegetable oil, optional
(1) Put the chicken in a bowl and add the marinade ingredients. Stir well and cover. Refrigerate for half an hour (overnight is ideal!).
(2) Mix the flour or panko with the rest of the coating ingredients and stir well.
(3) Take the chicken out of the marinade and toss them in the flour to give a generous coating. Light spray all over with vegetable oil, if using: the oil is not essential but I find it gives a better finish.
(4) Air-fry at 180C for 9-10 minutes or until deep golden-brown: take a piece and cut into it to check it is white throughout. Serve in the bao with spiced mayo and either pickled veg or simply chopped spring onions.
NB: if using buns you had made before and frozen, simply defrost and steam for about 5 minutes.