How to Make Bao with Korean Fried Chicken

Credit: Unsplash

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes


For the Korean Fried Chicken:

  • 1 lb 450g boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk or substitute with regular milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the Korean Fried Chicken Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup gochujang Korean red pepper paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ginger minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

For the Bao Buns:

  • Store-bought frozen bao buns or use a bao bun recipe.

For Garnish:

  • Sliced cucumber
  • Sliced green onions
  • Sesame seeds


Marinate the Chicken:

  1. Place the bite-sized chicken pieces in a bowl and pour buttermilk over them. Allow them to marinate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour, or even overnight in the refrigerator for best results.

Prepare the Korean Fried Chicken Sauce:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine gochujang, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, minced garlic, minced ginger, and sesame oil. Heat over low-medium heat, stirring constantly until well combined and slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.

Coat and Fry the Chicken:

  1. In a separate bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large heavy-bottomed pot to 350°F (175°C).
  3. Drain the marinated chicken pieces from the buttermilk.
  4. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture until well coated.
  5. Carefully place the coated chicken pieces into the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown and crispy, about 5-6 minutes. Ensure the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature should reach 165°F or 74°C).
  6. Remove the fried chicken from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Assemble the Bao:

  1. Heat the bao buns according to the package instructions or your homemade recipe.
  2. Open each bao bun and spread a little of the prepared Korean Fried Chicken Sauce on the inside.
  3. Place a few pieces of the fried chicken on each bun.
  4. Garnish with sliced cucumber, green onions, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.


  1. Serve the Korean Fried Chicken Bao immediately while the bao buns are warm and the chicken is crispy.
  2. You can serve extra sauce on the side for dipping or drizzling.

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