Siopao (Steamed Buns)

This is Siopao (Steamed Buns). Siopao is a dough filled with a savory meat filling and cooked by steam. It is also another popular food item in the Philippines. Siopao do not require utensils to eat and can be consumed on-the-go. Enjoy this recipe from all of us at Filipino Chow.


For the Dough

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup of luke warm water
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup of shortening
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar

For the Filling

  • 1 1/2 pounds of meat, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 4 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of MSG (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of shortening
  • 6 hard boiled eggs


For the Dough

  1. In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in luke warm water, add salt, sugar and 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour.
  2. Beat thoroughly until you have the consistency of a soft sponge.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
  4. Add shortening. Mix well, then add the remaining ½ cup of all-purpose flour.
  5. Knead until smooth.
  6. On a flat surface, dust surface with flour and roll the dough to form a 2 inch tube.
  7. After forming the dough into a 2 inch tube, cut dough with a knife using a cutting board so that you have 2x2 in. pieces.
  8. Place on a tray, line with wax paper, and dust with flour.
  9. Set aside.

For the Filling

  1. In a large frying pan heat and saute 2 tablespoons of shortening over medium heat.
  2. Saute garlic until golden brown, add onions and cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add meat. Saute for 2 minutes, cover, and let simmer for 5 minutes over medium low heat.
  4. Mix cornstarch in a small bowl with ½ cup of water until totally dissolved, set aside.
  5. After five minutes remove cover, stir the meat, and add the following: oyster sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, and cornstarch-water mixture
  6. Season with msg, black pepper, and sesame oil.
  7. Stir well and bring to a boil.
  8. Let simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes on low heat while stirring occasionally.
  9. Remove pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  10. Take the dough, cut in 2x2 inch pieces and dust each one with flour.
  11. Roll each piece into a ball with your hands and lay the rounded dough onto a flat surface then dust with flour.
  12. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough to 3/8 of an inch thick.
  13. Slice hard boiled eggs crosswise. Arrange 3 slices at a time onto the center of the rolled-flattened dough.
  14. Spoon about one spoonful of pork or chicken filling onto the center of the dough.
  15. Pull edges of the dough together and twist together firmly.
  16. Using wax paper cut in 4x4 inch pieces, place buns upside down.
  17. Steam siopao for about 25 minutes.


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