Sunday, November 11, 2012

Jamie's Coconut Buns with Chicken Stir-fry

Have you seen Jamie Oliver’s latest passion, 15 Minute Meals?

With the cookbook on display in most stores just in time for Christmas shopping, and the television series on in prime time, it’s pretty hard to miss. The tv series is even on twice a week over here, sort of rubbing it in that while you’re sitting down to an evening ‘meal’ of dry cereal and a flagon of wine, in the same 15 minutes, Jamie has whipped up a substantial spread of crab pastries, salad and salsa, all laid out on a trendy, massive wooden platter.

And what’s the rush, anyway? Why do in 15 minutes something you used to do in 30 or 60 minutes? Then I realised that it’s more about getting ideas on what to make and how to do it, with lots of room for improvisation. The 15 Minute Meals tv show is great, as I’d much rather watch something being done rather than reading about it, and Jamie is exhaustingly entertaining. This week, he made these clever steamed coconut buns, and it’s an idea that I’ve nicked in a jiffy (sorry, speaking in colloquial slang is sort of contagious). In the tv show, Jamie also steamed the chicken and vegetables, but I thought that stir-frying them would be more flavoursome.

By the way, guess how long it took to make this… 45 minutes!!! Well, it’s not how quick you are, it’s more about how good it was, ie. really good.

Stir-fried Chicken with Coconut Buns
serves 4

For the coconut buns:
270g tin of light coconut milk
Approx 2 cups self-raising flour
½ tsp salt

For the chicken:
1 tsp vegetable oil
3 chicken thigh fillets, cut into 1cm strips
100g mushrooms, such as shiitake or button, roughly torn
1 bunch broccolini or small broccoli, cut into 5cm pieces
3 tblsp oyster sauce, plus extra to serve
2 tblsp lightly toasted sesame seeds
Lime wedges, to serve


1. For the coconut buns: Pour the coconut milk into a food processor. Use the empty tin to measure out the self-raising flour – you want 2 tins’ worth of flour. Add the flour and salt to the food processor and process until a dough forms. Lightly knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, then roll out 4 to 5 balls of dough (you may need to dust with more flour, it’s quite a wet dough). Place the balls into large muffin cases and place, in a single layer, into a steamer basket with a lid. Put the steamer over a pan of boiling water (medium heat) and steam for 10 minutes.

2. For the chicken: Place a wok over high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the chicken pieces and stir until the chicken is browned, about 3 minutes.

3. Place the broccolini in a microwave-safe container and microwave for 50 seconds. 4. Back to the wok, add the broccolini and mushrooms to the chicken and stir for 1 minute. Add the oyster sauce and stir until the chicken and vegetables are coated and heated through.

5. To serve: Put the chicken and vegetables onto a large plate and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Place extra oyster sauce, sesame seeds and the lime wedges on the side. Mop up the juices with the hot coconut buns.

recipe adapted from

Ingredients, including coconut milk, 2 tins' worth of self-raising flour, mushrooms and broccolini.

This bamboo steaming basket is for display only, being too small to steam the 4 buns that this recipe makes. Here is a single lonely bun, before cooking.

Serve with condiments on the side.

Quick-ish and full of flavour.
The coconut buns are light, fluffy and unusual. Will definitely be making them again.


  1. I always find that as long as a recipe SAYS it a serious always takes me at least 30 min longer! I don't think they ever factor in cutting and chopping time! This looks like a GREAT meal, no matter how long it took though. LOVE those buns!

  2. Coconut buns - love it. So simple but I can see how amazing this would taste! Um, where the feline at in this post?

  3. I was just going to ask you how long it took you exactly. I suppose 45 minutes isn't too bad. And glad the flavour was well worth it! I do want me one of those coconut buns.

  4. Yaya received this book as a birthday present and I too was hooked by the possibility of fresh buns in 15 minutes or less! It did only take minutes to mix but getting the mix out of the food processor and trying to divide it into the requisite smaller buns took the remainder of the 15 minutes and let's not even get into the WASHING of the processor! Jamie also doesn't specify what size steamer so next time I will halve the recipe! : D

  5. hi gummi baby - the washing up was horrible - the processor, the benchtop, my hands... it's a really sticky dough. I did reduce the quantities of the original recipe and ended up with 4 large buns, if that helps.

  6. Oh! I never had coconut buns...and from your description it sure sounds delicious, especially paired with chicken stir-fry...great meal Bel.
    Hope you are having a fabulous week :)

  7. Yes!!! I saw this episode too and was literally salivating at the thought of making it. Though I did wonder if it would take 15 or 60 minutes :) Ultimately I don't mind spending more time, and, as you said, I think the show is perfect for getting ideas. Based on your review I'm definitely going to make these :)

  8. What happens if you only have one of those microwave steamers (a bowl with a basket inside and a lid). Does anyone think I could still make the buns????? How long in the microwave do you think ?????

  9. Is this recipe in his book that has been out since before Christmas or are they more up to date?

  10. hi Anonymous - this recipe is adapted from the website. The recipe is also in the 15 Minute Meals cookbook - they are the same, as far as I'm aware.

  11. Hi
    Just seen this on TV. In the TV version Jamie uses HOYSIN sauce not oyster!