Fish Bao with Klara Risberg

Recipe and words by Klara Risberg


I know this recipe requires some time but trust me, it’s worth every second of prep and a guarantee impressed guests.  I would say, as a shortcut you can buy shop bought mayo and mix with sriracha but I would not advise to buy the frozen steamed buns from a store, the result is crazy different. However once you have made the buns they freeze well and you can steam straight from frozen if you can make them ahead. I like to always have a batch in my freezer for whenever a bao craving kicks in.

For the fish

400 g cod fillets (skin removed) You can use any other similar white fish, just make sure it’s MSC certified

40 g salt

1 litre water

Start off making a brine for the fish in the morning. Make a brine with salt and cold water. Cut the fish in eight equal size pieces and brine during the day until cooking of the fish.

For the coating

200 g flour

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg whisked

200 g panko or breadcrumbs

Heat up enough oil to deep fry the fish to 180 degrees or set the temperature if using a fryer. Coat the fish pieces first in flour, then dip in the egg then the breadcrumbs.

If you prefer a thicker coating you can dip the fish in flour again, then egg and finish with crumbs. Fry for about 3 minutes each side until golden.

For the mayo

1 egg yolk

2 dl natural oil

2 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp sesame oil

3 tbsp sriracha (depending how hot you want it!)

Lemon juice

In a blender, add yolk, mustard and sriracha, blend whilst drizzling in all of the oil. Do not salt before all is incorporated as both mustard and sriracha contains salt. Season to taste with salt, pepper, sesame oil and lemon juice. Add some more sriracha if you prefer it spicier. 

 For the cucumbers

300 ml water

200 ml sugar

100 rice wine vinegar

2 green chillies

1 cucumber

Dissolve sugar in some of the water and mix with the remaining water and vinegar. Peel the cucumber lengthwise but keep some of the peel on, slice and mix with the pickling liquid.

 For the buns

Makes 16 buns (!)

530 g plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

7g instant yeast

40 g caster sugar

10 g baking powder

50 g milk

200-250 ml warm water

25 ml oil

In a mixing bowl, add flour, salt, yeast, sugar and baking powder, mix and pour in the liquids. Knead until a smooth ball. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hour or until double in size.

Divide the dough in smaller pieces at 50g each, roll a tight ball and let rise for another hour. Roll out each ball to an oval shape and brush the topside with oil and fold over. Let rise for another hour and stream in batches for 8 minutes in a bamboo steamer (a colander works too).

To assemble the bao

Open the bun and spread a layer of sriracha mayo, add a few slices of pickled cucumber, kimchi is lovely too if you have in hand, then add the fish and some more mayo.

For more of Klara's amazing recipes, visit her website and her Instagram, and visit our other posts on The Cut!

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