Bao Fajitas

Tex-Mex meets Asian cuisine with these Bao Fajitas.


  • For the dough:
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil + a bit more for brushing
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup flour + more for dusting
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • For the marinade:
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cut into thin, long pieces
  • 3 pinches salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
  • For the fajitas:
  • 1/3 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds, to garnish


  1. Make the chicken marinade the night before. In a medium bowl, add chicken and season with salt, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, some chopped chipotle pepper in adobo, and top it off with a sour orange marinade. Mix well, cover it in plastic, and leave it in the fridge overnight or at least for 4 hours.
  2. For the bao dough: add warm water, oil, sugar and instant yeast to the bowl of a standing mixer. Move the ingredients with a spatula and let them rest and get foamy for about 1 minute.
  3. Next, add flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and start mixer on low.
  4. Once the dough starts coming together, change to a kneading paddle attachment. Knead for about 4 minutes. If you don't have the attachment, you can continue with your hands.
  5. Add a bit of flour onto a clean surface and transfer the dough to finish kneading by hand, and then form a smooth ball of dough.
  6. Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover it with a clean towel, and let it rise in a warm place for at least an hour.
  7. After the dough grows at least double its size, turn it out onto a clean, floured surface and roll it into a long log. Cut the log in about 6-8 pieces about 3-inches thick.
  8. Grab each piece and first fold the edges of the dough into the center, pressing down and pinching them together. This will help smooth the dough and create surface tension on the other side. Turn the ball over on the table and flatten it out a bit with your hand. Then, with a rolling pin, roll it into a flat, oval-like figure.
  9. Brush a bit of oil on the dough's surface and fold. Press it down a bit to help keep the bun closed while steaming. Transfer your little envelope to a square of parchment paper and then place it in the steamer.
  10. Do this with all of the dough, leaving space between the buns to prevent sticking. If you can't fit all your buns at once, cover the rest in plastic so they don't lose humidity and texture.
  11. After filling up the steamer, let the buns rise for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to a pot filled with about 2 inches of water. Turn the heat to high and when steams comes out, reduce it to medium for 5 minutes and then turn it off. Let the buns rest inside the steamer for a minute before taking them out so they gradually cool down and don't collapse.
  12. Cook the chicken fajitas by first sautéing onions, garlic, and peppers in olive oil until they're soft and tender. Set aside. In the same pan, add the chicken; cook well, and mix in with the sautéed veggies.
  13. Assemble the bao fajitas by adding 1 spoonful of fajitas to each bao. Finish by adding decorative sesame seeds.