Chinese Chicken Burgers

Steamed buns are available from specialty stores, or try this special recipe to make your own.

  • Serves 10
  • Preparation time 25-30 minutes (longer if making your own steamed buns)
  • Cooking Time 5-6 minutes for chicken
Print recipe


  • For the Crispy Fried Chicken:
  • 5 Turk's free range chicken thigh fillets,skinless
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • few drops sriracha sauce, or use to your taste
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups dried white breadcrumbs
  • oil for shallow frying
  • Chinese black vinegar, for brushing
  • ground Sichuan pepper for sprinkling
  • For the Green cabbage:
  • ¼ green cabbage, very finely sliced
  • ½ green chilli, finely chopped
  • store-bought mayonnaise to mix
  • To serve:
  • 10 steamed buns, steamed and ready to eat
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pickled vegetables – such as cucumber, fennel bulb and red onion
  • For the Steamed buns:
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 7 g (1 ¼ teaspoons) dried yeast
  • 200 ml warm water or a dash more if needed
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil plus extra for brushing
  • melted butter for brushing before char-grilling


For the Crispy Fried Chicken:
  1. Cut chicken thighs in half and place between 2 sheets of baking paper. Flatten out chicken with a meat mallet, end of a rolling pin or small heavy saucepan so all pieces are the same thickness. This will help the chicken cook evenly.
  2. Mix together the egg, sriracha sauce and soy sauce. Place the flour on a flat plate and the breadcrumbs on another.
  3. Place chicken in the flour, dusting off excess, then the egg mixture and finally the crumbs, patting down well to coat evenly. Set aside while you heat the oil. Heat enough oil in a large frying pan to cover the base by about 2cm. When hot, add the chicken, in 2 batches to prevent overcrowding. Fry chicken for 5-6 minutes, turning once. Remove and drain well on crumpled kitchen paper. Fry the remaining chicken.
  4. Before placing in the Chinese burger, brush top of the chicken with a little Chinese black vinegar and sprinkle with a little ground Sichuan pepper.
For the Green cabbage:
  1. Toss the cabbage and chilli together to combine. Mix through a little mayonnaise to moisten.
To serve:
  1. Heat a chargrill until hot. Split the steamed buns in half horizontally and brush cuts sides with a little melted butter. Place on the hot grill and grill until dark lines appear.
  2. Layer burger with mayonnaise, drained pickles, chicken and cabbage mixture. Hold your burger together with a skewer.
For the Steamed buns:
  1. Place the sugar and yeast in a small bowl and pour over the warm water. Leave in a warm place for about 5 minutes until the yeast is frothy.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the peanut oil. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix until you have a dough. The dough should form into a soft, but not sticky ball.
  3. Place the dough on your bench top and knead by hand until it is smooth, about 2 minutes.
  4. Wash and dry the mixing bowl, lightly oil and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise until the dough has doubled in size, at least 1 hour.
  5. Divide the dough in half. Cover one half with plastic wrap and set aside. Divide one half of the dough into 5 even-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a bun shape and place on a piece of baking paper as you go, making sure they are well apart. Lightly brush with peanut oil and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to prove for about 15 minutes or until they increase in size (half of their original size again). Repeat with the remaining piece of dough.
  6. When ready to steam, place a bamboo steamer on top of a wok with enough water in it to prevent it boiling dry. Place a piece of baking paper in the base of the bamboo steamer.
  7. Carefully lift the first 5 buns using the baking paper and place in the steamer. Replace the lid and steam for 10-12 minutes until the buns are puffed and sound hollow when you tap the base. Carefully remove the steamer from the wok and lift out the buns. Repeat to steam the remaining buns.

Suggested chicken

Turk's free range chicken thigh fillets

Alternative chicken

Turk's free range chicken breast fillets and tenderloins