When I think of a dish that perfectly marries the softness of buns with the savory goodness of grilled meat, my mind instantly goes to “grilled chicken bao”. This dish, a delightful fusion of flavors, is a testament to the culinary genius of combining buns and chicken. Whether you’ve had the pleasure of tasting Korean bao buns or the crispy chicken bao, you’ll agree that there’s something incredibly satisfying about biting into a well-made bao.
Occasions Perfect for Grilled Chicken Bao
Grilled chicken bao is versatile. It’s perfect for a family BBQ, a quick lunch, or even a fancy dinner party. Given its Korean bao roots, it’s also a great dish to serve during cultural celebrations or when you’re in the mood for some Korean BBQ bao buns. The bao burger bun makes it a fun alternative to regular burgers during summer cookouts.
Recommended Cooking Equipment
To make the perfect grilled chicken bao, I swear by the gas grill. It gives the chicken that authentic grilled flavor. But remember, it’s not just about having the right equipment but also knowing how to use it effectively.
- Gas Grill: Ensure it’s clean and preheated. A gas grill heats up quickly, giving your chicken a nice sear, locking in those juices.
- Steamer: Essential for those soft, fluffy bao buns. Whether you’re making chicken steamed buns or experimenting with steam bun filling ideas, a good steamer is a must.
Alright, let’s dive into the heart of this article: the chicken bao bun recipe. Remember, the key to a good grilled chicken bao lies in the balance between the softness of the buns and the flavors of the chicken.
- Chicken breasts: 2, boneless and skinless
- Soy sauce: 2 tablespoons
- Honey: 1 tablespoon
- Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
- Ginger: 1-inch piece, grated
- Sesame oil: 1 teaspoon
- Bao buns: 8 (You can find these at Asian grocery stores or make them from scratch using a basic bao bun recipe)
- Fresh cilantro: A handful, chopped
- Spring onions: 2, thinly sliced
- Pickled cucumbers or radishes for added crunch
- Chili sauce or mayo (optional)
- Marinate the Chicken: In a mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, minced garlic, grated ginger, and sesame oil. Mix well. Add the chicken breasts, ensuring they're well-coated with the marinade. Let them marinate for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
- Grill the Chicken: Preheat your gas grill to a medium-high setting. Once hot, place the marinated chicken breasts on the grill. Cook for about 7-8 minutes on each side or until the chicken is fully cooked through and has a nice char on the outside. Once done, remove from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes. Then, slice the chicken into thin strips.
- Steam the Bao Buns: While the chicken is resting, steam the bao buns. Fill a steamer with water and bring it to a boil. Place the bao buns in the steamer, ensuring they don't touch each other. Cover and steam for about 5-6 minutes or until they're soft and fluffy.
- Assemble the Bao: Open each bao bun and fill it with a few slices of grilled chicken. Top with fresh cilantro, spring onions, and pickled cucumbers or radishes. If you like, you can add a drizzle of chili sauce or mayo for added flavor.
- Serve: Serve the grilled chicken bao immediately while they're still warm. Pair with a side of your choice, like a fresh salad or some crispy fries.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 320Total Fat: 8gNet Carbohydrates: 35gProtein: 25g
Serving Suggestions and Side Dishes
What to eat with bao buns? The beauty of grilled chicken bao is its versatility. You can pair it with a variety of side dishes. From Asian style pork bao tacos to a simple salad, the choices are endless. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try Disney bao buns or even a bao bun bowl?
Cooking Tips and Mistakes to Avoid
- Filling Bun: Don’t overstuff your bao. It might be tempting to add a lot of grilled chicken, but too much can make the bao break.
- Reheating: Wondering how to reheat bao? Use a steamer. Avoid the microwave as it can make the buns rubbery.
- Chicken: Ensure your chicken is fully cooked. Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature.
Grilled chicken bao is more than just a dish; it’s an experience. Whether you’re a fan of the Korean fried chicken bao buns or the classic steamed chicken buns, there’s a bao out there for everyone. So, the next time you’re in the mood for some buns and chicken, remember this guide and treat yourself to some delicious grilled chicken bao.
FAQs about Grilled Chicken Bao
What is bao made of?
Bao is made from a simple dough of flour, yeast, sugar, and water. It’s kneaded until smooth, allowed to rise, and then shaped and steamed to create soft, fluffy buns.
Are bao buns healthy?
Bao buns, in moderation, can be part of a balanced diet. They are low in fat but can be high in carbs. The healthiness also depends on the fillings and toppings you choose.
What is a chicken big bao?
A chicken big bao refers to a larger-sized bao bun filled predominantly with chicken and possibly other ingredients. It’s a hearty version of the traditional bao.
What is bao meat?
Bao meat refers to the filling inside the bao bun. It can range from pork, beef, chicken, or even vegetarian options. The meat is often seasoned and cooked before being encased in the bao dough.
How do you store leftover bao buns?
Leftover bao buns can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For longer storage, they can be frozen and reheated in a steamer.
Can you make grilled chicken bao ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the chicken and the bao dough ahead of time. Store them separately in the fridge and assemble and steam when you’re ready to serve.
Is there a vegetarian version of grilled chicken bao?
Absolutely! You can replace the grilled chicken with tofu, tempeh, or even a mix of seasoned veggies for a vegetarian twist on the classic bao.
How do I ensure my bao buns are fluffy and not dense?
Proper kneading, allowing the dough to rise sufficiently, and not overstuffing the buns are key. Also, ensure your yeast is active and fresh.
What other fillings can I use for bao buns?
The possibilities are endless! From Korean BBQ, shrimp, mushrooms, to sweet fillings like red bean or custard, you can get creative with bao fillings.
Can I fry bao buns instead of steaming them?
Yes, you can fry bao buns for a crispy exterior. However, the texture and taste will differ from the traditional steamed version.
I’m Calvin Lamb, an LA-based culinary enthusiast with a decade’s experience in five-star kitchens. My innovative dishes, inspired by seasonal flavors and sustainable practices, blend classic and modern cuisine. Besides crafting unique culinary experiences, I relish exploring new eateries and devising fresh recipes.