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Siopao or hot buns is a type of dumpling with a sweet pork filling. It can be consumed anytime of the day. I personally love to have this for brunch along with a bowl of hot beef mami. This siopao asado recipe will guide you on how to make it at home.
Siopao asado’s name literally translates to “hot bun,” a reference to the meaty asado filling found inside the white bun. Asado refers to a style of cooking meat by marinating it in a mixture of different spices and sauces, then boiling it until tender. You can do this to any type of meat, but the most popular forms of asado are pork asado and chicken asado. Its sweet taste makes it ideal with any type of carb. Some even enjoy it over a steaming plate of white rice that soaks up the asado’s flavor. But one of the most popular ways to have it is compact and inside a white steamed bun.
You can find siopao asado almost everywhere, from bakeries and street vendors to popular Chinese eateries around the country. But whether you have it at home or from a store, siopao can be enjoyed morning, noon, or night.
Siopao VS. Char Siu Bao
Warm, sweet, and filling, siopao asado is the Filipino version of Cantonese dish cha siu bao. But what makes these dishes so different? Appearance wise, cha siu bao and siopao asado are very similar. Both are white and fluffy buns, with a meaty filling hidden within. But it’s in the filling itself that the difference between these two steamed buns lies. Where cha siu bao is made with roasted pork, five spice, and various kinds of soy sauce and sesame oil, siopao asado is most commonly made with stewed and braised pork, as well as other sauces like soy sauce and hoisin. Although the difference in taste might be subtle, siopao asado is just the tiniest hint sweeter. This is no surprise, considering how much we Filipinos love our sweet tooth!
One of the other highlights of siopao asado is the sauce that comes with it. My Special Siopao Sauce recipe makes the beloved siopao even more delicious and flavorful. This sauce takes only 30 minutes to make, but the result is a plentiful sauce that you can even store for later use.
How to Cook Siopao Asado
This Siopao recipe is simple. I tried to teach the entire cooking and dough making process as easy as possible so that everyone can follow. Your job is to make sure to have all the ingredients and necessary equipment and tools are available before starting.
Cook the Sweet Meaty Asado Filing
Start by cooking the sweet asado filing. Saute garlic, onion, and pork. The meat needs to be browned a bit before adding the seasonings and spices. It is ideal to cut the pork into thin small pieces so that it cooks and tenderizes quickly. A good way to tenderize the pork is to add around ¾ cups water into the pan along with the seasonings and spices. You will need to cover it and cook until the liquid almost evaporate completely. Leave a bit of sauce in there. The entire mixture should be thickened by adding cornstarch. Simply dilute it in water and pour into the pan. Stir right away to avoid lumps from forming.
Make Siopao Dough
Now we are ready to make the dough. Always refer to the recipe below for the detailed instruction. Watch the cooking video that I included in this recipe post to guide you further.
Activate the yeast and feed it. Do this by pouring yeast into a bowl of warm water and add sugar. Yeast is a living organism that feeds with sugars and starches. This ingredient helps make our siopao asado bun rise and get soft.
The entire process can be overwhelming to newbies. Try to group related steps together to make it simpler. It is important to have a clear understanding of what needs to be done and the expected result. Let’s treat the yeast activation process as an example. Treat it as a mini process within the entire dough making procedure.
Now that you have the yeast ready, it is time to combine the base ingredients of the dough. These are flour, baking powder, shortening, and the yeast mixture. Mix everything together and then knead afterwards. Kneading is the name of the process when making dough. The basic dough ingredients are mixed together by hand until dough is formed. This can also be done easily by using a stand mixer with dough hooks attached.
Kneading can be very tiring. Take a rest. Let the dough that you kneaded rest as well. 1 hour should be enough to regain your strength. It is also enough for the dough to rise.
We are almost done with the dough. Knead it some more after it rose, and then cut into individual portions. Flatten these portions. That’s it!
Assembling Siopao and Steaming
I strongly suggest watching the video below see how this is done. The idea is to put the meat filling between the flattened dough and secure it. This might be tricky at first, but you will get used to it.
Steam the siopao for fifteen minutes. Do not forget to make your homemade siopao sauce.
You can enjoy this delicious Siopao Asado anytime of the day. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, snack, and even dinner. I know that its cumbersome to prepare siopao manually. Kneading takes-up time and energy. You can always knead the dough using a heavy duty stand mixer to avoid exerting too much effort. The effect will pretty much be the same.
Apart from siopao asado, there are many other variations of siopao that have become popular in Filipino cuisine.
Typically, siopao comes in two specific variations: either you get the siopao asado, or the siopao bola-bola. Instead of just using sweet pork, siopao bola-bola is a combination of minced meat, Chinese sausage, and salted eggs. This gives it a saltier, more savory flavor than siopao asado, but is still delicious in its own way.
Other variations include Chicken Pao (which includes –– you guessed it –– barbecued chicken!), and Cuapao, which is a combination of both meat and vegetables. But siopao is not just limited to savory meat fillings. Over time, others have also begun to make sweet-filled siopao, without meat! One popular example is siopao with sweet monggo filling. Unlike its siopao asado counterpart, this sweet dimsum is filled with red bean. This makes it a tasty snack or even a heavy dessert.
No matter what you put in your siopao as filling, you’re always bound to get a compact, delicious dish bursting with flavor. What kind of siopao do you like best?
The perfect pair
What’s your favorite thing to pair with siopao asado? For many, the ideal companion to the steamed bun is a nice, hot bowl of beef mami. My Bulalo Beef Mami puts a spin on the classic beef mami by utilizing beef shank, which makes the soup even richer and more flavorful. With meat that practically melts off the bone, mami and siopao asado are delicious together, especially on long, rainy days. If you aren’t a beef fan, you can also have Chicken Mami, which also works just as well.
Because siopao asado can be seen as a kind of dimsum, it would also be good to eat with other dimsum and dumplings, and street food inspired by our Chinese influences. Many people also enjoy siopao asado with pork siomai, another dimsum packed with flavor and served with a delicious toyomansi mix. You can also deep fry your siomai, if you’re looking for a different type of texture.
Even fast food restaurants have started serving combo meals of siopao asado, noodle soups and dimsum for people to enjoy altogether. Making these dishes at home might take extra time, but the end product is always worth it: now you have a delicious merienda spread you can share and enjoy with your family!
Store and save your siopao asado
Did you make too much siopao asado? Normally you don’t even notice that you’ve scarfed down piece after piece, but after a while the combination of bread and meat can get quite heavy. Here are some tips on how to store your siopao asado for the next time you get a craving!
Make sure to save your siopao asado in a container with a tightly sealed lid. Once in the refrigerator, you can keep your siopao asado for about 3 days.
If you’re keeping them in the freezer, however, they can last even longer –– up to two months! And reheating them is no trouble at all! Wrap a damp towel around them and heat it in the microwave for a few minutes on high, and they’ll come out good as new.
You can enjoy siopao asado any time from the comfort of your own home! Try this great siopao asado recipe today!
- 2 cups water warm
- 2 ½ tablespoons sugar added to yeast mixture
- ½ cup sugar added to the flour mixture
- 1 pouch dry yeast
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 ¼ tablespoon baking powder
- 6 tablespoon shortening
- Cook the Asado filling by heating the shortening in a pan
- Saute the garlic and onions
- Put-in the pork and cook until the color of the outer part turns light brown
- Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and sugar then mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Put in the corn starch (diluted in water) and mix until the texture of the sauce becomes thick. Set aside.
- Make the dough by placing warm water in a bowl then add the yeast and sugar and mix well. Leave the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes
- In a mixing bowl, put-in the flour, baking powder, shortening (or lard), and the yeast-sugar-water mixture then mix well (bubbles should have formed on top by then).
- Knead the combined mixture until the texture of the dough becomes fine. Let the dough rise by setting it aside for at least an hour (place in the mixing bowl and cover the top ).
- Knead the dough again then cut into individual slices (this will be the dough per individual siopao).
- Flatten the dough until a round shape is formed using a rolling pin.
- Put the asado filling on the middle of the flattened dough and wrap. (refer to the video for the technique if interested)
- Place the siopao in a steamer and steam for 15 minutes.
- Serve hot with Panlasang Pinoy Siopao Sauce. Share and enjoy!