Schnitzel Bao

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Schnitzel Bao

This schnitzel variation is a nod to my Chinese side and comes nestled in steamed gua bao, or “taco buns,” as they’re more commonly referred to in our house. These buns are a dangerous combination of salty, squishy, sweet, sour, crunchy, spicy, and mayo-y.

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Ingredients

Sesame Pickles

  • ½ cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced (ideally with a mandoline)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Schnitzel

  • Flavorless oil, for deep-frying
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Lemon wedges

Assembly

  • 12 steamed gua bao, store-bought or homemade
  • Sriracha mayo (¼ cup mayonnaise mixed with 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce, or to taste)

Preparation

Pickles: 

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the cucumber, crushed red pepper, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. 

2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Schnitzel: 

1. Pour 1 ½ inches of oil into a large heavy pot or high-sided skillet. Clip on a deep-fry thermometer and heat the oil over medium-high heat to 360°F.

2. Set up a dredging station: Place the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in each of three separate bowls. Season the breadcrumbs with 1 teaspoon salt and a few turns of pepper.

3. Place a piece of chicken between two large pieces of plastic wrap and use a rolling pin or other blunt object to pound the chicken until it is as thin as you can make it without it tearing. Repeat with the remaining chicken. 

4. Coat the chicken in flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs and fry in batches, flipping once, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to drain and season both sides with salt and pepper and squeeze with lemon.

Assembly:
1. Spread the insides of a bao with Sriracha mayo and fill with a piece of schnitzel and a few pickles.

Recipe posted with permission from Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from an Unlikely Life on a Farm.