Southern-fried chicken bao with creamed corn and hot sauce

Southern fried chicken bao buns with creamed corn and hot sauce
  • Snack
  • medium
  • 8
  • 1 hour 30 minutes, plus overnight brining time


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  • Fried chicken

  • 4 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
  • 1l vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • Spice mix

  • 2 tbsp of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp celery salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic granules
  • 2 tsp onion granules
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Buttermilk brine

  • 250ml of buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 egg
  • Flour coating

  • 150g of plain flour
  • 2 tbsp of cornflour
  • Bao dough

  • 300g of plain flour
  • 4g of fast-action dried yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 15g of sugar
  • 160ml of whole milk, luke warm
  • 15ml of vegetable oil
  • Creamed corn

  • vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 100g of sweetcorn
  • 100ml of double cream
  • salt
  • cayenne pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • To serve

  • herbs, chopped parsley or coriander works well
  • hot sauce
Begin by making the spice mix, as it will be used in both the chicken brine and the crunchy coating. Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container
To make the buttermilk brine, stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl along with 2 tbsp of the spice mix. Prep the chicken thighs by cutting each one into three pieces, then place into the brine and mix well. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight
To make the bao dough, place the ingredients in a food mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix on low until the ingredients have come to together to form a dough, then turn up the speed and knead for 6–8 minutes, until you have a smooth dough. Alternatively, you can knead by hand for around 15 minutes
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in size (1–2 hours)
In the meantime, make the creamed corn by sweating the shallot in a splash of oil until soft. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes
Strain out most of the cream (retaining it in a bowl) and place the corn in a blender. Blend to a creamy consistency, adding some of the reserved cream if necessary. Taste and season with more salt, cayenne or Worcestershire sauce if needed
Flour a work surface and tip out the proved dough. Working gently so you don't knock too much of the air out, roll the dough out into a sausage. Divide into 8–10 equal balls
Take one of the balls and roll into an oval shape, around 6mm thick. Using your finger, lightly grease the surface with a little vegetable oil. Fold it over to form a sandwich shape and place on a square of baking paper. Cover with a cloth whilst you prepare the rest of the buns
Preheat a deep-fryer or deep pan of oil to 170°C. Prepare the flour coating by mixing the flour, cornflour and remaining spice mix
One by one, dip the chicken pieces into the flour, coating evenly, then place in the hot oil. Cook for 8 minutes or until the chicken reaches 75°C with a temperature probe. You will need to work in batches
As the chicken is frying, set up a bamboo steamer and steam the buns for 8 minutes – you will need to work in batches
To assemble the buns, carefully lift open the lid and add a spoonful of creamed corn, spreading on both sides. Add a piece of chicken, drizzle with hot sauce and sprinkle with herbs. Eat straight away!
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