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Crispy Fried Chicken Bao – The Korean Bao Buns

Crispy Fried Chicken Bao – The Korean Bao Buns

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.

Crispy Fried Chicken Bao – The Korean Bao Buns


For the Bao Buns

  • 3 ¾ cups 450g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons 7g instant dried yeast
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat milk
  • ¾ 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
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt

For the crispy coating

  • 1 ½ cups 180g all-purpose flour (or 00 flour substitute)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ 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

  • ½ cup green onion chopped thinly sliced
  • ½ cup lettuce or cabbage roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup Korean spicy mayo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons black and white sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup pickled radishes optional


1. Prepare The Dough For The Bao Buns

2. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a bowl.

3. In a separate jug, mix together milk, warm water, and butter until the butter melts.

4. Gradually add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture, starting with a spoon and then using your hands.

5. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can use an electric mixer with a fitted dough hook.

6. 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.

7. While waiting for the dough to expand, move on to preparing the Korean Chicken.

8. Prepare The Korean Chicken

9. Place the chicken in a bowl and add buttermilk, salt, pepper, and garlic salt.

10. Mix well and cover.

11. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

12. Shape The Bao Buns

13. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead it again once the dough has doubled in size.

14. Divide the dough into 20 balls and place on a piece of parchment paper.

15. Roll each ball into an oval shape, approximately 6cm x 9cm, using a rolling pin.

16. 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.

17. Arrange the buns on the parchment paper and then place them in trays that fit the oven or steamer.

18. Cover each tray with clingfilm or a carrier bag, ensuring the clingfilm doesn't touch the dough

19. Set aside for another hour until they have puffed up.

20. Cook The Korean Fried Chicken

21. Preheat the oven to low heat for keeping the cooked chicken warm.

22. Heat a large pan of vegetable oil (or preheat a deep-fat fryer) until it reaches the desired temperature.

23. Combine the ingredients for the crispy coating in a small bowl.

24. 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.

25. Place it on a tray and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.

26. 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.

27. Keep the cooked chicken warm in the oven while you cook the remaining pieces.

28. Steam The Buns

29. Meanwhile, bring a large steamer pan to a boil.

30. 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.

31. Prepare The Glaze

32. While the chicken and bao buns are cooking, prepare the sauce.

33. Combine gochujang, honey, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vegetable oil, and sesame oil in a saucepan.

34. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes until it thickens.

35. 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.

36. Assemble The Korean Fried Chicken Bao Buns

37. 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.


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.