Chicken Bao

Chicken Bao

By Food E Fare

Chicken bao is a popular dish in Asian cuisine, particularly Chinese cuisine, featuring soft, fluffy steamed buns (known as bao buns or baozi) filled with flavorful, tender chicken. The chicken is often cooked with a mix of savory and slightly sweet ingredients, including soy sauce, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, and sometimes spices like sriracha for heat. The bao buns are typically made from a dough that rises and becomes airy and pillowy when steamed, providing a delightful contrast to the rich and savory filling.


Ingredients


For the Bao Buns:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


For the Sticky Chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha (optional for spice)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water


For Assembly:

  • Pickled vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, radishes)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Sesame seeds


Instructions


Making the Bao Buns:

  • Activate Yeast: In a small bowl, mix warm water, warm milk, and sugar. Add the active dry yeast and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
  • Mix Dough: In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture along with the vegetable oil.
  • Knead Dough: Mix until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • First Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.
  • Shape Buns: Punch down the dough and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten into a 3-inch circle.
  • Second Rise: Place the circles on parchment paper, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise for another 30 minutes.
  • Steam Buns: Steam the buns in a bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper over boiling water for about 10 minutes, until puffy and cooked through.


Preparing the Sticky Chicken:

  • Cook Chicken: Dice the chicken breasts into small bite-sized pieces. In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through.
  • Make Sauce: In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, rice vinegar, sriracha (if using), garlic, and ginger.
  • Combine: Pour the sauce over the cooked chicken and stir to coat evenly.
  • Thicken Sauce: Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water to create a slurry. Pour the slurry into the skillet and stir until the sauce thickens and becomes sticky. Remove from heat and sprinkle with chopped green onions.
  • Assembling the Sticky Chicken Bao:
  • Open Buns: Carefully open each steamed bun to create a pocket.
  • Fill Buns: Fill each bun with a spoonful of sticky chicken.
  • Add Toppings: Top with pickled vegetables, fresh cilantro leaves, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
  • Serve: Serve immediately and enjoy the delicious sticky chicken bao buns.


Tips:

  • Make-Ahead: The bao buns can be made ahead and frozen. Reheat them in a steamer before serving.
  • Variations: Customize the filling with your favorite vegetables or add a spicy kick with extra sriracha.
  • Serving: These baos are great for parties or as a fun dinner option.


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