Crispy Chicken Bao Buns

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Cripsy Chicken Bao Buns Recipe

Crispy Chicken Bao Buns

You have to try these pillowy-soft steamed buns filled with crispy, juicy chicken. They are bursting with flavour! Save time by using store-bought bao buns that you can easily steam at home and enjoy the fluffy goodness. What makes this recipe so great is how customisable it is. You can adjust the level of spice to your liking, and you can even add your favourite veggies to the filling.

  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x


Units Scale
  • 16 bao buns, steamed as per packet instructions (see note 1)
  • 2 tbsp tamari or all-purpose soy sauce, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tsp garlic, freshly minced
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 500g chicken thigh fillets, cut into strips
  • 1.5 cups plain flour (see note 2)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Oil for frying (see note 3)
  • 1 cup carrot, julienned or shredded
  • 2 cucumbers, cut into batons
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, leaves picked
  • 1/2 cup sriracha mayonnaise (or regular mayonnaise for littles)
  • 2 red chillies, sliced to serve (optional)


  1. Place the soy sauce, garlic, eggs and chicken thigh fillet strips in a medium-sized bowl. Toss to coat.
  2. Place the flour, salt and pepper in a separate large bowl. Add the chicken (draining away the marinade) and toss in the flour to coat. Ensure the chicken is fully coated in flour on all sides.
  3. Heat the oil on medium heat. Cook the chicken in batches for 6-8 minutes, turning once halfway through and then set aside to drain on a paper towel.
  4. Serve the bao buns topped with the crispy chicken, carrot, cucumber, coriander, sriracha mayo and a drizzle of tamari or all-purpose soy sauce. Add chilli if using.


Note 1 – Bao buns can be found in the supermarket’s freezer section. They are regularly half price so look out for specials! They are traditionally steamed in a basket over boiling water for 7-8 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer basket, place 3 bao buns at a time on a large dinner plate with a mug or small bowl filled with 1/2 cup of water beside them (on the same plate). Cook on high at 2-minute intervals until soft and fluffy. Steaming on the stove top is my preferred method. I use a 3 tier steamer basket and find that I can cook the bao buns more quickly this way (they are also more fluffy). 

Note 2 – The recipe calls for a generous amount of flour as it makes it easier to coat the chicken pieces. You will have some flour left over.

Note 3 – Good quality olive oil can be used for frying (it does produce a denser, heavier crumb). Vegetable oil and canola oil are best for a light, even crumb. Use a deep, heavy-based skillet. It needs to be filled at least 3cm deep with oil. Learn how to clean and reuse your oil here

MAKE AHEAD – All salads can be prepared 24 hours prior to serving. The chicken and bao buns are best prepared and cooked immediately.

LEFTOVERS – Crispy Chicken Bao Buns are best prepared and enjoyed immediately, however leftovers can be refrigerated up to 3 days. Reheat the chicken in a 180°C fan oven for 10-15 minutes to retain its crispiness. Not suitable for freezing.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Category: chicken
  • Method: steam, pan fry
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Keywords: crispy chicken bao buns, easy chicken bao buns, make bao buns without a steamer basket

Leave a Reply


  1. Nicole

    I made this on a Sunday night after a busy weekend. We all needed something yummy to eat for dinner so I chose this. So simple yet so satisfyingly tasty! Hubby devoured 3 and even my sometimes picky 6 year old loved them…especially the chicken! Thanks for all you do Nic to help families across Australia put delicious and nutritious food on the table.

  2. Michelle

    These are seriously yum. So crispy & delicious. I’ve never made chicken like this before but will definitely keep making it. Another favourite to add to our list.

  3. Bonnie

    We love these Crispy Chicken Bao for a Friday night fakeaway! Even our little ones looooove this recipe and with no nasties we don’t end up with hyperactive babes. Winner all round

  4. Ash

    These were sensational! A new family favourite and so easy to make.

    • Nicole

      Ahh this is so fantastic to hear! 😍 Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on and rate the recipe! x

  5. Jessica

    Love these! Had friends over for dinner on Friday night and they were very impressed. Our three and five year olds polished theirs off as well!

    • Nicole

      I am so impressed by your little people’s tastebuds! That is so wonderful to hear. It’s such an impressive dish to whip out when entertaining. Thank you so much for sharing, I’m so glad you loved them as much as we do! Nic x

  6. Breanna

    I made these tonight. They’re amazing. Will definitely make these again.

    • Nicole

      Oh this is fantastic – Thank you so much for taking the time to write. We love these too! Nic x

  7. Xavier

    We absolutely adore this recipe and it has quickly become our Sunday night family ritual to share a big platter of fried chicken, veges and bao buns. We often pop the leftovers in our daughters lunch, as she can’t get enough. It’s the best version of fried chicken we have ever made and I am keen to use this version for chicken burgers as well.

    • Nicole

      What an amazing way to spend your Sunday nights. Your message gave me goosebumps. Just beautiful. I love that everyone can load up their own buns with whatever veg they like and it’s an added bonus being able to pop leftovers in lunch boxes (we do the same). Thank you so much for taking the time to write, you’ve made my day! x

  8. Dan

    YUM! These are delicious! We had these for a Friday night dinner and they were a huge hit with the whole family. I tried one batch in the airfryer but the flour coating meant they stayed a bit, well, floury! Recommend following the recipe and shallow frying.

    • Nicole

      Yes! I know exactly what you mean. I tried these multiple times in the oven with no luck, I’m still working on a baked/air-fryer version – I am about 80% on the way there. 😂 So glad these were a hit, thank you so much for taking the time to comment, really appreciate your support x

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