Filipino food culture is an amalgam of several different nationalities with siopao being happily adopted from China. Siopao is something that I always associated to my Lola (Grandma) who was able to whisk together this special treat of steamed buns with a savory pork filling. The following recipe consists of two parts, the filling and the pastry which is then wrapped up in one neat package.
Siopao – Chinese Steamed Buns with Pork Filling
- 2 tbsp | 30 ml of vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp | 30 g of garlic, diced
- 2.2 lbs |1 kg of pork shoulder, diced
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 4 tbsp | 60 ml of soy sauce
- 3 tbsp | 45 g of granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp | 30 ml of oyster sauce
- 3 eggs, hard-boiled, finely chopped
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat the vegetable oil in medium-high heat until shimmering. Add garlic to the oil and sauté for two minutes.
- Add pork shoulder and lightly browned on all sides.
- Add the onions, soy sauce, sugar, and oyster sauce to the pan, mix well and cook for about 15 minutes or until tender.
- Remove the filling from the heat and allow to cool.
- 1 pkg of active yeast
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp | 115 g of sugar
- ½ cup | 120 ml of lukewarm water
- 4½ cup | 540 g of flour
- 1 cup | 240 ml of lukewarm milk
- 1 tbsp | 15 g of baking powder
- 2 tbsp | 30 ml of vegetable shortening
- 24 pieces of waxed paper cut into 3 inch squares
- Mix the yeast and 1 tbsp | 15 g of sugar into the lukewarm water (Note: Do not use hot water as it will kill the yeast which results in a very flat dough mixture.)
- Stir yeast mixture until dissolved completely and let stand for 10 minutes. (If no foam forms on the top, the yeast is not active, discard and start a new package of yeast.)
- Sift flour into a large mixing bowl to eliminate any clumps.
- Slowly pour in the yeast mixture, lukewarm milk, baking powder, sugar, and vegetable shortening and stir with a rubber spatula, then mix with hands until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Place the dough mixture on a lightly floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes.
- Place the dough in a lighly oiled large bowl, cover the dough with a damp towel and allow it to rise in a warm place for 2 hours or until the volume of the dough doubles in size.
- Punch down the dough and cover again with a damp towel allowing it to rest for an additional 30 minutes, or until it doubles in volume again.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the mixture for 5 – 7 minutes until it is a smooth and satiny texture.
- Roll the dough into a 2 inch cylinder in diameter and about 24 – 26 inches in length.
- Cut into 1 inch rounds which will then be flattened into 5 inch rounds.
- Assemble the siopao by placing 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling and a few pieces of the chopped egg into the center of each pastry round.
- Gather the edges of the dough to form a pouch, then press the edges together to seal.
- Place each siapao bun on a 3 inch square of waxed paper, covering the finished buns with a dry kitchen towel and let rise in place for 30 minutes. (The buns will almost double in volume)
- Arrange the buns in a steamer leaving 1 inch space between each bun, cover and steam for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Serve hot with a side of oyster sauce, or eat plain out of hand.
- The recipe makes 24 siopao, one serving is 2 buns per person.
- Leftover siopao can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge, to reheat take a wet paper towel, wrap the siopao in the middle and microwave for approximately a minute until warmed.