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Weeknight Sticky Chicken Bao

40 minsServes 4Ingredients:¼ cup hoisin sauce1.5 tbsp oyster sauce3 tbsp brown sugar3 tbsp honey1.5 tbsp tamari3 tbsp rice wine vinegar1.5 tbsp sesame oil1.5 tsp Chinese five spice500g cooked shredded chicken4 cloves of garlic - minced2 tbsp olive oil3cm knob of ginger - finely grated6 baby cucumbers, cut in half then cut into strips2 carrots, cut into julienne1 lime16 frozen bao bunsCoriander leavestoasted sesame seeds
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Weeknight Sticky Chicken Bao

With Char Siu Sauce
Serves 4| Ready in 40 mins
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Say hello to the weeknight meal of your dreams - pulled chicken coated in a sticky Char Siu sauce, encased in a pillowy bao bun with fresh cucumber, carrot, coriander and lime, all in 30 minutes!

Weeknight Sticky Chicken Bao

This weeknight chicken bao recipe calls for all the quick meal hacks. Frozen bao and if you’re strapped for time, a rotisserie chicken or this 25 minute poached shredded chicken recipe are your weeknight dinner friends. You can of course make the bao from scratch with this bao bun recipe, which is delicious and awesome, make that on the weekend, show them off at a dinner party sure, but frozen bao is a weeknight winner for nights when you get home from work at 6pm and need to pull dinner together in a pinch.

What you need to make Weeknight Sticky Chicken Bao

A group of ingredients including cooked chicken, carrot, cucumber, lime, bao buns, herbs and sauce ingredients
Cooked shredded chicken
Either store bought or from this easy recipe
Hoisin and oyster sauce
Thick sauces used in Asian cooking
Brown sugar and honey
To create a bit of complexity in the sweet flavour
A variety of ‘soy sauce’ using Miso with a rich flavour, you could also use soy sauc
Rice wine vinegar
A sharp flavour balancer
Toasted sesame oil
For a deep nutty flavour
Chinese five spice
A blend of spices used in Chinese cuisine
Ginger and garlic
Essential flavour aromatics
Cucumber and Carrot
For a fresh crunch
Lime and Coriander leaves
To garnish and dress the bao
Frozen bao buns
Perfect for weeknights. See this recipe for how to make them from scratch when time is on your side

How to make Weeknight Sticky Chicken Bao

Sauces being added to a bowl
1. Combine sauce ingredients

Place ¼ cup hoisin sauce, 1.5 tbsp oyster sauce, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 3 tbsp honey, 1.5 tbsp tamari, 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1.5 tbsp sesame oil, 1.5 tsp Chinese five spice in a bowl and mix to combine.

Garlic and ginger added to a pan
2. Cook garlic and ginger

Gently fry the garlic and ginger in a little olive oil in a frypan over medium heat until they become fragrant and the garlic has a little colour.

Chicken added to a pan
3. Add sauce and chicken

Turn up the heat, add the sauce and the chicken and heat through. When a layer of caramelisation forms on the bottom of the pan, deglaze using a splash or two of water, scrape off the caramelised bits and add in a bit more olive oil, repeat until sticky and slightly charred.

Bao in bamboo steamer
4. Cook the bao

Meanwhile, heat a little water in a pot steamer, add some baking paper then add as many frozen bao as you can fit. Cover with the lid and steam for 6-8 minutes (or to packet instructions)

Cucumber, carrot and lime on a plate
5. Prep your accompaniments

Combine cucumber and carrot into a plate and squeeze over lime juice, pick a little plate of coriander leaves and add some toasted sesame seeds to a small bowl.

Serve and Garnish
6. Serve and Garnish

Serve warmed bao with sticky chicken, cucumber and carrot, garnish with coriander, lime and sesame seeds.

Watch how to make Weeknight Sticky Chicken Bao

Frequently asked questions & tips for Weeknight Sticky Chicken Bao

What other meats can be used?
You could substitute this dish with cooked pork loin.
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Weeknight Sticky Chicken Bao

Cook Time
30 mins
Prep Time
10 mins
Say hello to the weeknight meal of your dreams - pulled chicken coated in a sticky Char Siu sauce, encased in a pillowy bao bun with fresh cucumber, carrot, coriander and lime, all in 30 minutes!

Sauce ingredients

  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 tbsp tamari
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1.5 tsp Chinese five spice


  • 500g cooked shredded chicken
  • 4 cloves of garlic - minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3cm knob of ginger - finely grated
  • 6 baby cucumbers, cut in half then cut into strips
  • 2 carrots, cut into julienne
  • 1 lime
  • 16 frozen bao buns
  • Coriander leaves
  • toasted sesame seeds
Category - Chicken
Cuisine - Chinese inspired
Skill Level - Super easy
Other categories -
Chicken, Dinner, Entertaining, Main Dishes, Weeknight meals
Nutritional information
Calories 1269.3 kcal63%
Carbohydrates 179.2 g60%
Sodium 2141.3 mg93%
Magnesium 131.7 mg33%
Protein 59.4 g119%
Sugar 51.9 g58%
Calcium 242.9 mg24%
Vitamin A 111%
Fat 35.0 g54%
Fiber 10.7 g43%
Iron 48.0 mg267%
Vitamin C 34%

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