I’ve been on this super random tour of North America the past week. Geneva, NY last weekend, then Cleveland for a few days, and now I’m on my last leg in Vancouver with the parental unit. We’ve only been in Vancouver for less than 24 hours and I’m already questioning why we haven’t moved here yet. My goal for this mini vacation is to take my parents to as many Asian restaurants as possible and find all their favorite foods! Why didn’t anyone tell me that Vancouver/Richmond has the best collection of Asian food?! We immediately drove to the town of Richmond from the airport and got our fix of noodle soup and roast duck. I think it satisfied my parents’ longing for Hong Kong food. Did you know this town is 75% Asian?! Amazing. So far the highlight of our first 24 hours (to me at least) has been T&T Supermarket. When I travel I love visiting local supermarkets. I think this one is heaven on Earth. I almost cried when I walked in. It was so bright and big. Filled to the brim with every single thing you would need from an Asian Supermarket. I could have spent hours starring at the steamed bun and bakery sections. I’ve also never seen so much oyster sauce in my entire life. I’m going to try and sneak in another trip there before we leave on Monday!
I took about a billion photos of all the various steamed buns and baked breads I haven’t seen before and I’m determined to recreate every single one of them! Brown Sugar Bao? Penguin Buns??!!!! So many good carbs. I feel like my recipe development calendar goes through waves where I only focus on dumplings for a few weeks and then it’s either noodle or baking time. I think when I’m finally back home I’m going to dive back into the deep world of steamed and baked bao! I love making freshly steamed buns. If you also had a serious aversion to bread crust in your youth then I’m sure you appreciate the soft and squishy crustless qualities of steamed buns! Just for the record, I’m an adult that eats crusts now. I’ll probably pick a freshly steamed gua bao over any sandwich bread though.
Gua Bao is a steamed bun that’s been purposefully formed/folded like a slider bun, destined to be filled with infinite tasty things! I’ve filled them with Chik-fil-a inspired fried chicken and my Mom’s beef roast. For this recipe, I channeled one of my favorite Chinese takeout dishes. Sesame Chicken! It’s hard to beat my Mom’s beef roast stuffed in a bun, but I think this Sesame Chicken Gua Bao is my new favorite bun! Chicken thighs are lightly breaded, fried, and tossed in a very sesame forward sauce using La Tourangelle Toast Sesame Oil. It’s so toasty and nutty! All of their oils are so delicious! I drizzle their walnut oil on vegetables and they magically taste incredible with minimal effort! Oh, I can’t forget about this crazy easy slaw. It’s shredded cabbage tossed in La Tourangelle Sesame and Tamari Vinaigrette. I normally don’t buy salad dressing and prefer to make my own whenever a salad pops up in the kitchen, but their dressing already tastes exactly like something I would make on my own! The slaw is crunchy and tangy, which works so well with the savory and sweet sesame chicken. The gua bao acts a neutral cloud for everything to live in sesame harmony : )
These are so fun to make and even more fun to eat! Hope you give them a try and share them with all your friends! Or hoard them for yourself… I won’t tell anyone!
Thank you so much, La Tourangelle, for sponsoring this post!
Sesame Chicken Gua Bao
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs - cut in half
¼ cup cornstarch
½ tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
1 tbsp La Tourangelle Toasted Sesame Oil
3 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup flour
canola oil - for frying
8 Gua Bao Buns - Homemade or Store Bought
Sesame Seeds - for garnish
Chopped scallions - for garnish
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp cornstarch
⅓ cup white sugar
1 tbsp La Tourangelle Sesame Oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 cups shredded cabbage
2 tbsp La Tourangelle Sesame and Tamari Vinaigrette
Whisk together rice vinegar, cornstarch, sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce until combined. Set aside.
Combine chicken thighs, cornstarch, salt, white pepper, sesame oil, and olive oil in bowl and mix until chicken is evenly coated. Allow the chicken to marinate for 15 minutes in the fridge. Take the chicken and add the egg and flour. Mix again until the chicken is evenly coated with a light batter.
Heat about ½” of canola oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot add the chicken in batches. Fry the chicken on one side for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Flip the chicken and fry the other side for another 3 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat frying with remaining chicken thighs.
Drain the oil from the skillet or grab a clean skillet. Heat pan over medium heat. Add in the sesame sauce. While stirring continuously, cook for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat and toss the fried chicken into the sesame sauce.
To make the cabbage slaw, toss shredded cabbage with La Tourangelle Sesame and Tamari Vinaigrette. Set aside.
To assemble the gua bao, place one piece of sesame chicken and a bit of cabbage slaw inside the gua bao. Sprinkle on sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Enjoy!