Heaven in each pillowy bite. The buns are nice and fluffy and the meat just melts.
✔️6 boneless chicken thighs, halved.
✔️2 garlic cloves, crushed
✔️2 tbsp light soy sauce
✔️4cm ginger, grated
✔️1 tbsp togarashi spice mix
✔️veg oil for frying
✔️coriander, red onion, red chilli and pickles for garnish
Bao Buns (makes 12):
✔️90ml warm water
✔️2 tbsp veg oil
✔️1.5 tsp fast action yeast
✔️350g plain flour
✔️2 tsp baking powder
✔️2 tbsp caster sugar
Place the chicken in a bowl with the garlic, soy and ginger and mix well. Cover, refrigerate and ideally leave overnight or for at least two hours. Remove the chicken from the fridge one hour before cooking to bring up to room temperature.
In a shallow dish, mix the cornflour with the spice mix and some sea salt. Heat the oil in a wok or deep saucepan until it reaches 180° or when a small piece of bread instantly sizzles. Arrange a wire rack over a baking tray ready for draining the fried chicken.
When the oil is ready, dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess, and drop 5-6 pieces in to the oil at a time, frying until golden. Drain on the wire rack to keep the outside crisp.
For the Bao buns, mix together the milk, warm water, veg oil and yeast and leave to sit for 5 mins. In a separate bowl add the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Knead together until a dough forms (circa 10 mins) adding a tbsp more flour if it’s sticking. Remove the dough and place in a lightly oiled bowl for 1 hour until it doubles in size. Cover with cling film.
Knock the dough back, knead for another 2 mins, and then cut into 12–16 balls and place under a teatowel to stay soft while rolling. Use scissors to cut 10cm squares of nonstick baking paper for each ball. Roll each ball into an elliptical shape, 15cm long and 8cm wide. Brush the top slightly with veg oil, fold over and place each on a square of paper. Add to the steamer, then place the lid on the steamer so that they are covered and leave to rise for a second time, about 30-60 mins.
Pour boiling water in the bottom of a wok, then place the steamer on top for about 8 mins or until puffy and firm.