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Feast Your Eyes On The Making Of Sumo Shack’s Cheesy & Spicy Angry Bird Bao

Nashville-style chicken gets an Asian spin

Kathy Tran

When chef Dien Nguyen was creating the menu for the newly opened Sumo Shack, he knew he wanted to showcase the things he loves most. This meant plenty of bao (steamed bread rolls filled with meat or vegetables) and crispy, hot fried chicken. The result was the Angry Bird Bao, the fusion of Nashville-style hot chicken, Asian flavors and cheesy, gooey American goodness.

“I just really like Nashville-style hot chicken,” says Nguyen, who invented the Angry Bird bao in an attempt to satisfy his own cravings. “I thought it would be cool to put in a bao, just for personal preferences.”

Alongside the Angry Bird, the menu at Sumo Shack features other types of non-traditional bao, such as buns stuffed with burger-inspired ingredients and Philly cheesesteak, among a host of other Vietnamese and Japanese-American options. The fusion is a way for Nguyen to introduce folks who may not know much about bao with familiar — and delicious — flavors.

The bao is especially appealing during Sumo Shack’s late Friday and Saturday hours, when the pillowy-soft bun and crunchy, panko-breaded chicken can be put to good use in absorbing all the booze consumed on SMU Boulevard on the weekends. More than that’ though, it’s

Check out this behind-the-scenes look at the making of Sumo Shack’s Angry Bird Bao. Eater photographer Kathy Tran was on location to capture the making of this spicy, cheesy snack.

Before the cooking begins, chicken breast cutlets are brined overnight in a mixture of sugar, water, and peppercorns. The birds are then removed from the brine and marinated in a blend of cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, sesame oil, and other top-secret ingredients.

Then, the prepared chicken cutlets are breaded in flour and panko and deep-fried.

Once the chicken is perfectly fried, it is tossed in even more spicy sauce, then tucked into a soft steamed bun.

The chicken is then doused with a hefty amount of gooey, melted American cheese sauce.

Kathy Tran

A couple of thinly-sliced dill pickle chips gild the lily.

The finished product is tucked into a rack with slots for each steam bun, at which point the Angry Bird should be devoured immediately.

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