Siopao (Stuffed Steamed Bun)
Siopao or steamed bun is another popular Philippine delicacy. This Filipino snack was introduced to us by the Chinese, added our special touch and ingredients - it became our very own Siopao. It is a favorite "on the go" snack food most people like. In the Philippines, we eat at least 5 to 6 times a day; breakfast, lunch, dinner, plus snacks in between and after meals.
The Spaniards must have brought that tradition to us, I am not sure though, (lol). Siopao is a Filipino version of Chinese Baozi. There are different recipes in making siopao. It can be stuffed with pork, chicken or beef. In this recipe I used leftover baked chicken we got for dinner. I love left over food because I can recycle it into a different dish. It saves time and money that way. Chicken is my most favorite stuffing for my Siopao, next is pork and my least favorite is beef.
During my parents time in the 50s, Chinese young men were known to bring Siopao when visiting a girl they are interested in. They would bring gifts to win the favor of the girl's family. These Chinese men will visit and court the love of their lives early in the morning. Filipinos normally visit at night. When young Filipino men would venture to visit a girl in the morning, the parents of the girl will teasingly comment that the young man is not Filipino but Chinese. Sometimes the parents will be annoyed to have visitor that early. They were very particular about time of visiting during those days. I love listening to my two grandmother's olden days stories. I also love watching old movies that shows how life was in the Philippines before my time.
Chinese strongly influenced our culture, because of their long time presence in the Philippines. They were living in the Philippines long before the Spaniards came. There are a lot of Chinese owned restaurants in our city alone. We love Chinese food that we celebrate birthdays, wedding receptions and parties in those restaurants. Most Filipinos like Chinese food.
Siopao is very well liked snack during my years in the Philippines. I wonder if it is still the favorite of younger generation now. It is so filling and very satisfying snack. Some people eat them for lunch paired with ice cold soft drinks.
The Filling - Chicken Siopao
I made my filing so simple, it only needs few ingredients. Leftover chicken is great for this recipe. My family does not want to eat leftovers. It is good to recycle them to another dish. It's like eating a totally different food.
Siopao takes a long time to cook. First you have to make a dough, let it set for an hour. After that you have to form it. Then you have to cook the filing. And the longest time is the steaming. My steamer can only handle three Siopao. Each batch needs to be cooked at least twenty five to thirty minutes. It took me 3 1/2 to 4 hours cooking it. It's worth the wait though. I love making it because my family likes it a lot.
Ingredients for the Filling
- 2 cups cooked chicken (shredded)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 medium size onions chopped
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- dash of salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Heat cooking oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat.
- Saute onion and cook shredded chicken.
- Stir in soy sauce, salt and pepper.
- Dissolved cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water.
- Add the cornstarch mixture and stir for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Set aside.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 pack 7 grams active yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup warm milk mixed with 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- In a bowl, dissolve yeast with warm milk and warm water, let it stand for about 5 minutes, then stir.
- In another bowl combine 2 cups of flour, salt, cooking oil, sugar and baking powder. Mix together and add the warm milk, water, yeast mixture.
- Mix until well blended, keep on adding remaining flour until dough is elastic and easy to manage.
- Let dough stand for about an hour.
- Sprinkle a little flour in a working surface and knead dough until smooth. Divide dough into 12 equal parts and form each piece into a ball.
- Flatten dough ball about 4 inches in diameter with your hands or rolling pin. Put about 1 tablespoon full of meat filing into the center.
- Bring edges of the dough together and seal it maintaining the round form. Place filled dough in a wax paper with the sealed part at facing down.
- Bring steamer to a boil. Steam each batch on medium-low heat for 25 minutes or until dough is puffy.
- Serve warm.
Filling the dough.
Ready to be steamed...
Steaming my Siopao
The Finished Product. Usually boiled eggs are included for stuffing. I did not use egg this time.
What kind of filling would you like for your Siopao?
My Chicken Siopao!
Have you tried Siopao before?
© 2012 Lorna