Spicy Korean Chicken Bao with Green Bean & Tomato Salad
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Spicy Korean Chicken Bao

with Green Bean & Tomato Salad

40 MIN
3 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

In this recipe, soft, slightly sweet bao (or Chinese steam buns) perfectly complement chicken cooked in savory black bean sauce and spicy Korean chile paste. A creamy spread adds another layer of bold flavor, while quick-pickled cucumber rounds it all out with cooling crunch. We’re completing the dish with a stunning summer salad of green beans, tomatoes (yours may be red or yellow), and tangy-hot pickled Hatch chile, a favorite New Mexican pepper.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    560 Cals (est.)
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Prepare the ingredients & make the black bean mayo:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the black bean mayo:

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds. Cut off and discard the stem ends of the green beans. Halve the tomatoes; place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and half the black bean sauce; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut off and discard the pepper stem. Halve the pepper lengthwise; remove and discard the ribs and seeds, then thinly slice crosswise. Thoroughly wash your hands and cutting board immediately after handling the pepper.

Pickle the cucumber & pepper:
2 Pickle the cucumber & pepper:

Place the cucumber and pepper in 2 separate heatproof bowls. In a medium pan, combine the vinegar, sugar, and ⅓ cup of water. Season with salt and pepper; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, evenly divide the pickling liquid between the bowls. Set the cucumber and pepper aside to cool, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Season each with salt and pepper to taste. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

Cook the green beans & make the salad:
3 Cook the green beans & make the salad:

While the cucumber and pepper cool, fill a bowl with ice water; add a pinch of salt. Set aside. Add the green beans to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green and slightly softened. Leaving the pot of water boiling, using a slotted spoon or tongs, immediately transfer the cooked green beans to the bowl of ice water. Let stand until completely cool. Drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the seasoned tomatoes and as much of the pickled pepper and pickling liquid as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.

Cook the chicken:
4 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in a single layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the remaining black bean sauce, 2 tablespoons of water, and as much of the gochujang as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Steam the buns:
5 Steam the buns:

While the chicken cooks, rest a strainer (or colander) over the same 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 to a work surface.

Plate your dish:
6 Plate your dish:

Gently open each steamed bun; evenly spread with a thin layer of the black bean mayo. Divide the cooked chicken and pickled cucumber (draining before adding) among the buns. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve ⅔ of the assembled buns with ⅔ of the salad (you will have extra buns and salad). Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Blue Apron delivers original, step-by-step recipes and fresh ingredients to customers nationwide. Our menus change every week, so with each delivery you learn to cook inventive new dishes with seasonal ingredients. By letting us source these hard-to-find ingredients for you, you'll get food that is fresher and cheaper than you can get at your local supermarket, and there's no waste because we only send you what you need for each recipe.

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Get This Recipe Delivered
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the black bean mayo:

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds. Cut off and discard the stem ends of the green beans. Halve the tomatoes; place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and half the black bean sauce; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut off and discard the pepper stem. Halve the pepper lengthwise; remove and discard the ribs and seeds, then thinly slice crosswise. Thoroughly wash your hands and cutting board immediately after handling the pepper.

2 Pickle the cucumber & pepper:

Place the cucumber and pepper in 2 separate heatproof bowls. In a medium pan, combine the vinegar, sugar, and ⅓ cup of water. Season with salt and pepper; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, evenly divide the pickling liquid between the bowls. Set the cucumber and pepper aside to cool, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Season each with salt and pepper to taste. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

Pickle the cucumber & pepper:
Cook the green beans & make the salad:
3 Cook the green beans & make the salad:

While the cucumber and pepper cool, fill a bowl with ice water; add a pinch of salt. Set aside. Add the green beans to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green and slightly softened. Leaving the pot of water boiling, using a slotted spoon or tongs, immediately transfer the cooked green beans to the bowl of ice water. Let stand until completely cool. Drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the seasoned tomatoes and as much of the pickled pepper and pickling liquid as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.

4 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in a single layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the remaining black bean sauce, 2 tablespoons of water, and as much of the gochujang as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the chicken:
Steam the buns:
5 Steam the buns:

While the chicken cooks, rest a strainer (or colander) over the same 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 to a work surface.

6 Plate your dish:

Gently open each steamed bun; evenly spread with a thin layer of the black bean mayo. Divide the cooked chicken and pickled cucumber (draining before adding) among the buns. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve ⅔ of the assembled buns with ⅔ of the salad (you will have extra buns and salad). Enjoy!

Plate your dish: