Gao Bao – with Crispy Chicken
I travel a lot, and often the trip go to South East Asia, mostly because of the food, but also because of the culture of amazing nice people and of course the weather. So everywhere I go in Asia, you can always get these amazing steamed buns, with all kind of filling: pork, beef, duck, tofu, chicken…you name it, it’s almost like an Asian burger, except this is much better. It is called a Gao Bao, and it’s actually a Taiwanese specialty, I have yet to go to Taiwan, but I am pretty sure it would be like going to food heaven, since these little buns are my favorite thing to eat at the moment. There are a few places in Copenhagen, where you can get them, but not as good as I have tasted them in Asia, so what to do? Make them yourself, it’s actually not that hard, so here is the recipe for a little bite of heaven.
For the steamed buns:
2 ½ deciliter warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast/or 20 gram normal yeast
400 gram flour + more for dusting
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
For the chicken:
300 gram chicken breast
1½ deciliter panko bread crumbs (can be bought in all big supermarkets and Asian shops)
1 deciliter flour
1 deciliter buttermilk
Oil for the deep frying
For the topping:
200 gram cabbage (sliced on a mandolin iron or with a very sharp knife)
100 gram carrot, cut julienne style (or just grated)
3 tablespoon Japanese mayonnaise (or just the really good one from Hellmanns)
3 tbs. crème fraiche
2 spring onion, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
½ a cucumber, (sliced on a mandolin iron or with a very sharp knife)
1 tbs. sugar
1 deciliter Rice vinegar (or just use normal vinegar)
1 tbs. roasted sesame seeds.
Lots and lots of fresh coriander
For the dough:
Start with making the dough for the buns: In a mixer bowl, add the warm water, oil, yeast and sugar. Let it sit for a few minutes. Next, mix in the flour, baking powder and salt, in that order. Then you mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes. Put more flour in the bowl, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl. Change to a dough hook (if you use a Kitchen Aid, and if you use a hand mixer then use the two dough hooks) and on speed 2, knead for 5 minutes, until dough is even and let go of the sides of the bowl. If the dough sticks to the side of the bowl, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time.
Powder your counter with a little flour and roll out the dough. Form the dough into a even ball. Return the dough ball to the mixing bowl, cover with a dishtowel and let rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until it almost doubles in size.
Pour water in a wok and place your Bamboo steamer on it and turn on the heath. It must not be too hot, when you steam the buns, because the will cause the buns to collapse and then they are not nice and fluffy.
Turn out your dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half. Gently roll each half into a log shape. Cut each log into 6 or 7 little balls. Work with one ball at a time, and keep the rest covered so that they don’t dry out. Roll the dough ball out to a long, oval shape. Brush the top with a little vegetable oil. Fold over one side of the oval. Use your rolling pin to gently roll and press one last time. Place bun into the bamboo steamer. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
For the filling/salad:
For the Cucumber salad: mix it all in a bowl and let it sit for one hour before serving.
For the Cabbage salad: mix it all in a bowl and let it sit for half an hour before serving.
For the crispy chicken:
Start by cutting the chicken into smaller pieces and marinate them in Chinese five spices and butter milk (or other spices you have in your pantry), you can do this after you make the dough. Let it marinate until the buns are done, then dip them in: 1. Flour 2. Whipped eggs 3. Panko bread crumbs. After that you deep fry them for around 5 minutes.
Now it is time to mix this heavenly food, make sure to put lots of coriander on it. I would recommend you to drink a Dark and Stormy, or a nice glass of white wine 🙂