Try Yum Bun's recipe for crispy fish baos, then check out our steamed bao buns, Chinese dumplings and more Asian street food recipes.

Award-winning Yum Bun serves handmade dumplings and fluffy buns known as gua bao in their native Taiwan. These are steamed, split and filled to order with higher welfare British pork, chicken and sustainable fish, and local seasonal veg. The playful menu takes inspiration from founder Lisa Meyer’s Japanese upbringing and travels around east Asia.

“The crispy fish and green chilli sambal bun has featured on our menu during the summer months since 2015,” says Lisa. “We make limited amounts of this zingy fresh sambal and it always feels like sunshine in a bun to me.” Find Yum Bun at The Kitchens in Old Spitalfields Market and Kerb Seven Dials Market.


  • 8 bao buns (50g each, you can buy these fresh or frozen)
  • crisp lettuce (such as cos), shredded to serve
  • mayonnaise, to serve


  • 200g firm white fish (such as pollack)
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 60g panko breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil, for shallow frying


  • 4 green chillies (40g), deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 4 spring onions (40g), roughly chopped
  • 60g coriander, soft stalks included, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp fish sauce (we used Three Crabs)


  • STEP 1

    Slice the fish into eight 50g pieces (cut to a shape that fits nicely in the bun) and season well. Lightly coat the fish pieces in flour, then the beaten egg, and finally the breadcrumbs. Set aside.

  • STEP 2

    Use a small food processor to blend the chillies and spring onions until very finely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again until combined into a spoonable sauce. Process to a smoother sauce if you prefer. If you don’t have a food processor, finely chop the ingredients, and pound together with a pestle and mortar for a smooth sauce.

  • STEP 3

    To steam the buns, fill the steamer pan three-quarters full with water and set to boil over a medium heat. Depending on the size of your steamer you may have to steam the buns in batches. Put the buns on small squares of baking paper, put in the steamer so they aren’t touching and clamp on the lid. Steam on high for 4 mins, or until the buns are hot and fluffy. Using a clean tea towel to protect your hands, carefully remove the buns and gently prise open. They should be very fluffy and soft to the touch in the centre. If they are still a little firm, return and steam for a little longer.

  • STEP 4

    Heat 4cm of oil in a wok or frying pan – it should be no more than two-thirds full – and heat to 180C on a cook’s thermometer, or until a cube of bread browns within 30 seconds. Fry the fish for 2 mins on both sides until the fish is floating in the oil and golden and crisp on both sides. When cooked, remove from the oil and leave to drain on kitchen paper.

  • STEP 5

    To assemble the buns, put one piece of fish in a bun, tuck some shredded lettuce behind the fish, add a dessertspoon each of the mayo and sambal. Eat while hot and steaming.


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