Korean Bao Sliders with Gochujang Mayo & Sweet Potato Tempura

Korean Bao Sliders

with Gochujang Mayo & Sweet Potato Tempura

25 MIN
3 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

A longtime Chinese favorite, bao are steamed buns often filled with succulent meat. In this recipe, zesty beef patties turn our bao into unique sliders. Steaming the buns gives them an irresistible, soft bite—contrasted perfectly by crunchy cucumber slices and sweet potato tempura, or battered and pan-fried sweet potato. If you’d prefer milder sliders, feel free to use less gochujang (Korean red chile paste) in the patties and the creamy spread!

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of water to boiling on high. Slice the sweet potato into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Cut off and discard the root end of the scallion; thinly slice the scallion on an angle, separating the white bottom and green top. Peel and mince the ginger. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds on an angle. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and up to half the gochujang (reserving the rest), depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the sweet potato tempura:
2 Make the sweet potato tempura:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and 5 tablespoons of water to create a thin batter; season with salt and pepper. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Once the oil is hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles immediately when added to the pan, working in batches, coat the sweet potato in the batter (letting the excess drip off). Add the coated sweet potato to the pan in a single layer and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt and pepper. Carefully discard the oil. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

Form the patties:
3 Form the patties:

While the sweet potato cooks, in a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, black bean sauce, white bottom of the scallion, ginger and as much of the remaining gochujang as you’d like; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Using your hands, form the mixture into six ¼-inch-thick patties.

Steam the buns:
4 Steam the buns:

While the sweet potato continues to cook, rest a strainer or colander over the pot of boiling water, making sure the water doesn’t reach the bottom of the strainer. Working in batches if necessary, place the buns in the strainer; cover with the lid of the pot. Steam 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened and puffy. Carefully transfer the steamed buns to a work surface.

Cook the patties:
5 Cook the patties:

In the pan used to cook the sweet potato, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the patties and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a plate and set aside in a warm place.

Assemble the sliders & plate your dish:
6 Assemble the sliders & plate your dish:

Gently open each steamed bun and spread with a thin layer of the gochujang mayonnaise. Divide the cooked patties and some of the cucumber between the buns. Divide 4 of the sliders and ⅔ of the sweet potato tempura between 2 dishes (you will have extra sliders and tempura). Garnish with the green top of the scallion. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of water to boiling on high. Slice the sweet potato into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Cut off and discard the root end of the scallion; thinly slice the scallion on an angle, separating the white bottom and green top. Peel and mince the ginger. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds on an angle. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and up to half the gochujang (reserving the rest), depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper to taste.

2 Make the sweet potato tempura:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and 5 tablespoons of water to create a thin batter; season with salt and pepper. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Once the oil is hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles immediately when added to the pan, working in batches, coat the sweet potato in the batter (letting the excess drip off). Add the coated sweet potato to the pan in a single layer and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt and pepper. Carefully discard the oil. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

Make the sweet potato tempura:
Form the patties:
3 Form the patties:

While the sweet potato cooks, in a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, black bean sauce, white bottom of the scallion, ginger and as much of the remaining gochujang as you’d like; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Using your hands, form the mixture into six ¼-inch-thick patties.

4 Steam the buns:

While the sweet potato continues to cook, rest a strainer or colander over the pot of boiling water, making sure the water doesn’t reach the bottom of the strainer. Working in batches if necessary, place the buns in the strainer; cover with the lid of the pot. Steam 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened and puffy. Carefully transfer the steamed buns to a work surface.

Steam the buns:
5 Cook the patties:

In the pan used to cook the sweet potato, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the patties and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a plate and set aside in a warm place.

6 Assemble the sliders & plate your dish:

Gently open each steamed bun and spread with a thin layer of the gochujang mayonnaise. Divide the cooked patties and some of the cucumber between the buns. Divide 4 of the sliders and ⅔ of the sweet potato tempura between 2 dishes (you will have extra sliders and tempura). Garnish with the green top of the scallion. Enjoy!

Assemble the sliders & plate your dish:
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