Monday, February 2, 2009


With pork adobo fillings

Siopao is Chinese steam buns usually filled with meats, either chicken or pork. It is a very popular snack in the Philippines paired with halo-halo.

As usual I made the dough in the bread machine

Dough Recipe:

1-1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp. salt
4 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp. yeast

Put all the ingredients in the bread machine pan with the water at the bottom of pan. Place the dry ingredients on top. Turn the machine on dough cycle. This will take 30 minutes for the whole cycle to stir and knead the dough. When the cycle is finished turn off the machine and leave the dough in the bread machine to rise until doubled in bulk.

Take out dough and divide it into 20-24 pieces.

Roll out each piece into about 6 inches discs, should be thinner around the edges. Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of filling on the center of dough. Gather the edges, using the N-S and E-W or the 12 o'clock-6 o'clock and 9 o'clock-3 o'clock fashion. Meaning, take the 2 opposite sides and pinch them together, then the other 2 sides together, then gather the rest of the sides, pinching them altogether to seal well.

( to prevent the dough from drying out, cover the rest with plastic wrap while working on each piece of dough).


Oil the bottom of the filled dough before placing them on a piece of paper. You can use 2 1/2 square inch wax paper or parchment paper or just simply use muffin liners. Place the filled siopao smooth side up on the papers.

Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes, before putting them in the steamer to steam.

Don't forget to place a clean kitchen towel over the steamer before putting the lid on so the water from the vapor will not drip on the buns.

Steam the siopao for 20 minutes.


For fillings you can add a sliced boiled egg, a piece of bacon, some mushrooms, etc.

The beauty of making your own siopao at home
is you can customized the fillings,
not always the asado style which
is very common with the commercial siopao.


On my first batch of siopao, I forgot to place kitcken towel over the steamer. Now I got some wrinkled siopao!

If you prefer asado for fillings, here is the recipe from my sister in NZ. I never used it as I always used pork or chicken adobo for the fillings. She also gave me the recipe of the dough which I've been using.
For Asado Filling:
2 lb. pork, cut up
3 tbsp. canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
ground pepper
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water
2 pieces star anise
5 tbsp. cornstarch plus enough water to dissolve it

1) In a skillet, heat the oil and saute the onions until translucent
2) Add the meat and continue to saute until it is no longer pink
3) Add the soy sauce and the star anise. Continue to saute until the meat runs clear juice
4) Add the water and simmer until meat is tender. Season with pepper
5) Add the cornstarch dissolved in water. Stir until well until thickened.
6) Discard the star anise seeds before filling the siopao.


  1. What is the white thing in the steamer those tiny holes, is that the towel underneath. I understand you have to put a towel over the siopao, do you put one under? How many pieces of siopao can you make with the dough? I love siopao and surprisingly my kids too! Isometimes buy the goldilocks at the asian store but if you can make a better, meaty filling, it is best to make your own.

  2. I am debating whether I will make this recipe this weekend or the banana cream pie. I thought of using adobo as filling, using your adobo recipe. I never thought there are many ways I can use the yoshida sauce, it sat in my fridge for a long time. Or maybe, I will make both. Oh my, what have you done to me, MaMely.

  3. Yes, that's a towel underneath and the one with holes is the part of the steamer that sits over steaming water and I had it sitting on a kit towel on the counter top. I know it looks weird, huh?
    You know I showed a friend how to make this siopao but for some reason doesn't like making the dough so I suggested to her that she can use the frozen kinds from the stores, as long as the filling is homemade and she is happy with it. If you make the filling yourself you can customize it like she does.

  4. Thanks for clarifying, I will get the lard and yeast today. I haven't used my bread machine in a long time since I can buy good bread in most stores nowadays, but I will start using it again. I will thaw some pork for my pork adobo filling, marinate it overnight with soysauce, sprite and pepper. I should be able to make it this Sat. including the banana cream pie.

  5. Well, I tried to make dough with my bread machine and it did not work, it remained very soft, a little bit "liquidy". I haven't used my bread machine for maybe 9 years and maybe there was something I did not do right in my measurements. I will try the frozen rolls next time.

  6. I'm sorry your dough didn't turn out good. Those frozen doughs work good for siopao.

  7. Yes, I will try the frozen rolls, but I will not give up on my bread machine yet, I want to use it for future attempts on pandesal also, and of course siopao. Like you said, practice makes perfect.

  8. Anonymous, you can gradually add some more flour while the machine is kneading.

  9. I'll keep that in mind.

  10. Somebody e-mailed me a recipe of pan de sal she found from this site...
    I'm so tickled pink that it is my pan de sal recipe! and although the blogger tweaked the recipe, it is a very insignificant tweak.
    I'm so glad she tried it and she is happy with the result. She has a nice blog actually, and I'm pretty sure she is a good cook. Thanks Malisa for trying my recipe!!

  11. Oppps, I should have posted that comment on the pan de sal entry. Oh, well...