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Siopao (Stuffed Steamed Bun)

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Lorna is a homeschooled mom and a full time homemaker. She loves to cook and bake. Enjoys walking, friends and family.

My Siopao


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


  1. Heat cooking oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat.
  2. Saute onion and cook shredded chicken.
  3. Stir in soy sauce, salt and pepper.
  4. Dissolved cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water.
  5. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Set aside.

The Dough

  • 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


  1. In a bowl, dissolve yeast with warm milk and warm water, let it stand for about 5 minutes, then stir.
  2. 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.
  3. Mix until well blended, keep on adding remaining flour until dough is elastic and easy to manage.
  4. Let dough stand for about an hour.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Bring steamer to a boil. Steam each batch on medium-low heat for 25 minutes or until dough is puffy.
  9. Serve warm.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour 30 min

2 hours

3 hours 30 min

Serves 12 people

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.

Scroll to Continue

My Chicken Siopao!


Steamed Bun

© 2012 Lorna


Anna from chichester on May 06, 2014:

All your Filipino recipes look amazing, and the ones I've tried tasted awesome. I'm definitely going to be making more!

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on December 25, 2013:

I love the Chinese ones so I know I'm going to love these!

Takkhis on December 16, 2013:

I will have to find a Filipino restaurant here just to find your great delicious dishes including this one :)

kathysart on May 02, 2013:

In Hawaii they call these monopuas. I LOVE LOVE them and have been missing them. So cool to see some recipes. Thank you.

anonymous on April 21, 2013:

Siopano is new to me, I don't think I've ever had a steam bread unless it was many years ago and I just know I would love it after reading the ingredients....yummy! I love that you shared those dating traditions, I had never heard of a tradition of coming in the morning and the difference between the two brought a smile, nicely done! :)

sukkran trichy from Trichy/Tamil Nadu on February 07, 2013:

very interesting new recipes.thanks for sharing

cmadden on February 05, 2013:

I would love to try one of these!

dellgirl on February 02, 2013:

Very interesting, I had never heard of this before. But, what's new, huh? I haven't heard of a lot of things. Thanks for sharing this.

Congratulations on making the TOP 100 - Food & Cooking/Cookbooks page! Terrific!

rainbowbutterfl1 on February 01, 2013:

You make me crave for our own style ( Filipino ) siopao Lornz :) , indeed , another best recipe of yours !

Takkhis on January 31, 2013:

Your recipes are always new to me. I find new things when i visit you recipe lens. This Filipino snack looks delicious!! Blessed!

askformore lm on January 24, 2013:

Thank you for sharing your recipe!

I like most of the Pinoy food (I lived in the Philippine for 2 years)

Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on January 12, 2013:

These steamed buns look great! Thanks for telling us how to do it.

onyesvic on November 09, 2012:

Look delicious...

LadyFlashman from United Kingdom on July 22, 2012:

These look tasty! I would love to try to make them one day.

johnshade lm on July 03, 2012:

I've never heard of this dish before... but it looks sooo good! Thanks for the lens

miaponzo on May 30, 2012:

These look delicious! I will have to try making steamed buns.. (I don't know how to do the steaming part though) :) Blessed!

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