Salmon Karage Bao

Eating a bao is like adapting a foreign language and speaking it fluently for a couple of minutes, only for the bao to become a metaphor when you’re done. It is simply one of the most ingenious food items you can feast on.

For this bao, I wanted to try a salmon karaage version, inspired – again – by the outstanding cookbook from Bone Daddies. This cookbook is so dope that I’m considering making every single recipe, Amy Adams-style, like in Julia & Julia.

But trust me when I say: This bao is gonna make you work. Especially if you want to make the buns from scratch. But hey: If there ever was a bao recipe worth working your ass off for, I promise you this is the one.

Salmon Karaage Baos

Makes 6 baos

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Salmon Karage Bao


Steamed Buns (Makes 6 buns)

1 packet yeast

50 ml lukewarm milk

20 grams sugar

170 grams plain flour

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for brushing

Green Chili Mayo Dressing

90 grams mayonnaise

35 grams green chilis, deseeded

1 tablespoon mirin

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon grapeseed oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salmon + Karaage Flour

300 grams salmon (six 50 gram fillets)

125 ml flour

80 ml rice flour

1/2 teaspoon sezchuan pepper

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Karaage Marinade

40 ml soy sauce

40 ml sake

40 ml water



1. Start off by making the bao buns. It will be the most time-consuming part of this recipe. Follow this post on how to make gua bao buns before continuing to step 2.

2. Mix all the karaage ingredients together in a bowl, add the salmon and leave it to marinade for a minute. Shake off the excess marinade and coat thoroughly in the karaage flour. When the oil reaches 180 degrees celsius on the thermometer, deep fry in 2 batches for about 30 seconds. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

3. In a food processor, combine mayonnaise, mirin, chile, lemon juice and grapeseed oil. Blend until smooth. Season with sea salt and ground pepper.

4. Top with pickled cucumber slices. Keep it simple, since the salmon and the mayo will pack an insane amount of delicious flavors!

Salmon Karaage Bao
Salmon Karaage Bao
A twist on the traditional chicken karaage bao using salmon. Guaranteed to raise the roof.

Prep Time:45 minutes

Cook Time:20 minutes

Yield:Makes 6 baos



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  1. This is a very confusingly written recipe. Do you really fry the salmon in one big 300g chunk? And isn’t the whole thing karaage, so when you say to mix all the ingredients together and put the salmon in it for a few minutes, I suspect it is just the marinade it’s supposed to marinate in?

    1. Hi James, you’re totally right. The 300 grams of salmon consists of six 50 grams fillets.

      And yes, you mix the karaage ingredients in a bowl first, then let the fillets marinate before coating it in the karaage flour.

      Thanks for posting!

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