Bao Diddley by Mr Bao

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Step 1.

Take your chicken and cut into strips that will fit inside a bao (about 30-40g), discarding any excess fat. Then set aside.

Step 2.

Juice your orange and remove any seeds.

Step 3.

Prepare the chicken marinade. Chop up the spring onions lengthways (saving a few for garnish), crush the garlic and matchstick your ginger. Add into a bowl along with the soy sauce, orange juice (saving 5ml for later), fermented bean curd, salt and pepper. Stir together and chuck in the chicken pieces. Massage with your hands so the flavour imparts and leave to marinate for 30 minutes. If you have longer, you can extend the marinate process (up to 6 hours).

Step 4.

For the wasabi mayo, mix together the kewpie mayo and wasabi paste. Set aside for later.

Step 5.

For the kimchi, add the kimchi and leftover orange juice into a bowl to sweeten it up and set aside.

Step 6.

Prepare 2 bowls. Salted cornflour in one and the eggs in another. Use roughly two egg yolks and one egg white then whisk it up.

Step 7.

Once the chicken is ready, dunk it into the whisked eggs then into the cornflour. Gently toss in the flour so that the chicken is totally dry before going in the fryer.

Step 8.

Get a wok and fill it with a good amount of oil - enough so that the chicken can be submerged. Get the oil really nice and hot (about 180°C). You can test this using the tip of a wooden chopstick - if it bubbles you are good to go. Then, gently lower the chicken into the oil and leave for around 3-4 minutes on each side. When it looks ready, remove and give it a squeeze, it should be bouncy and tender. To test, remove the fattest piece, dab dry, and cut into it to have a look inside. Set aside once all the chicken is fried.

Step 9.

Time for the buns. Steam by filling the wok with a few cms of water. Get it boiling then place the base of the bamboo steamer into the wok so that it is sat just above the water (not touching the water). Line with greaseproof paper and perforate. Then lay the baos on the paper and put the bamboo lid on top. Leave in the steamer for around 4 minutes to make them hot and fluffy.

Step 10.

Meanwhile, preheat your plates to avoid condensation on the bun. Once the baos are finished remove and place on the hot plate. Open them up gently being careful not to tear them.

Step 11.

Time to build the bao. Start with a thin layer of kimchi, then a fried piece of chicken (1 or 2 pieces), a squeeze of wasabi mayo, a tsp of sriracha and a sprinkle of the leftover spring onions. Make sure to spread the sauce over the whole bao base, all the way up to the edges. Repeat for all baos, then dig in!

You’ll need a steamer for this one. Mr Bao uses a bamboo steamer (very cheap) but you can use a metal steamer using exactly the same technique. Just swap the metal lid put for a tea towel as this will stop the water condensing and dropping on to the buns.

320g Chicken Thigh Fillets
1 Orange
Bunch of Spring Onions
5 Cloves of Garlic
Large Knob of Ginger
8g Light Soy Sauce
16g Fermented Bean Curds
4 Tbsp Kewpie Mayo (Can use normal Mayo)
1 Tsp Wasabi Paste (Can use Horseradish)
184g Kimchi
50g Cornflour
2 Eggs
8 Hirata Buns (Easy to buy at Morrisons or Sainsbury’s frozen section)
8 Tsp Sriracha
White Pepper
Sunflower Or Vegetable Oil