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For the bao buns

  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 250 ml lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tbs dried yeast
  • 430 g flour 00
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar

Ingredients for the crispy chicken

  • 2 de-boned chicken breasts
  • 2-3 eggs
  • oil, for deep-frying
  • panko
  • flour
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • salt and pepper

Other ingredients

  • 1 large handful coriander
  • 200 g julienned carrots
  • Sichuan mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp lime zest


Make the dough & first rise:

  • Dissolve sugar in the lukewarm water. Stir in the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Sift the flour into a bowl. Add yeast mix, vinegar, oil and a pinch of salt. Mix until well combined.
  • Kneed for another 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft and pliable.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside until doubled in size. (for about 2 hours)

Shape the buns and second rise:

  • Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface and punch it down. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Use a drinking glass or something else to cut out 3-inch circles of dough. Brush the tops with some oil and fold each piece of dough in half, pressing it down just lightly.
  • Transfer to a baking tray, cover with a lean tea towel and leave to prove for another hour.

Crispy Chicken

  • In a shallow plate, combine flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Beat the egg in another shallow plate. Place the panko breadcrumbs in a third shallow plate.
  • Cut the chicken breast into small pieces. Dredge the chicken in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in panko, pressing to coat.
  • Place the coated chicken bites into hot oil and deep-fry until golden and crisp. Remove from oil and drain on kitchen paper.

Steam the buns & filling

  • Heat a large steamer over a medium-high heat. Steam the buns for about 8 minutes until puffed up. To serve, stuff the chicken pieces into the bao buns with carrots, coriander and top with mayonnaise. Sprinkle with some lime zest.