Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 50 mins
I've always loved dim sum (deem sum) anytime of the year. The only time I ever have to really devote to making it ends up being around the holidays. We make a different type each day, sample some and freeze the rest to be utilized for special dim sum meals in the future. We normally make a dozen different types; some are more difficult than others. We use several cookbooks and several friends to gather and develop recipes. The book that started it all is: "Classic Deem Sum, recipes from Yank Sing restaurant, San Francisco" (ISBN 0-03-071546-6); it's from my all-time-favorite Dim Sum restaurant in the Bay Area! I get many of my wrapping and decorating ideas from a book (I wish they'd translate to English...), "Chinese Dim Sum in Pictures" (ISBN: 962-14-2257) this one has VERY detailed pictures of prepping and wrapping, but it’s all in Chinese so I use it in tandem with other books to achieve a recipe and wrapping ideas, another good recipe book is "Chinese Dim Sum" (ISBN: 978-0-941676-24-3). This includes the recipes translated into English AND some great detailed pictures of the preparation and wrapping process. This recipe details a Filipino (Pinoy) style recipe of a Hong Kong Classic, Siopao
For the Chili Pepper Oil
- 4 scallions
- 1 large fresh gingerroot, unpeeled
- 2 cups corn oil
- 1⁄3 cup dried chili pepper flakes
For the Soy Sauce and Chili Pepper Oil Dip
- 1⁄2 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons chili hot pepper oil
For the Siopao Filling
- 1 lb pork or chicken, cut into small pea sized pieces
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1⁄2 cup chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons sugar, or
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine or dry sherry
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch, plus
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, cut into small cubes
For the Basic Siopao Bun Dough Recipe (makes the dough for 24 siopao buns)
- 1⁄4 ounce active dry yeast
- 1 1⁄4 cups tepid water
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons lard, softened at room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Preparations / Notes:.
- 1. You can make a Soy Sauce – Chili Pepper Oil Dip in advance if desired. See recipe below….
- 2. Make the siopao filling first and allow to cool to room temperature or refrigerate as it’s easier to handle when cold.
- 3. Have a couple of damp towels on hand to cover dough during various parts of the recipe.
- 4. Move your rack to the lowest part of your oven to allow room for the bowl of dough to rise in a warm environment. Shortly before placing the dough in the oven, the instructions will ask you to preheat your oven on its lowest setting for 2 minutes, then turn the oven off.
- 5. It will take about an hour for the dough to rise.
- 6. Soak your bamboo steamers for 10 minutes in warm water, pat dry and lightly oil the bottom and sides before using to cook the Siopao.
- 7. Cut up 24 – 30, 2 inch square pieces of waxed paper prior to filling the dough balls with the siopao filling.
- 8. It is helpful to have a very small, oblong pastry rolling pin (flat in the middle, tapering ends), I had a larger oblong one that I made due with.
- 9. Restaurants and bakeries like to color code their siopao with small dots of food coloring to indicate the filling ingredients, i.e. chicken, pork, beef, etc. If you’re making a variety of fillings and flavors, decide upon your color code and when the siopao is formed and placed on a oiled cookie sheet during the prep phase, paint your small dot to indicate filling. My chicken filling usually has no dot, pork filling red.
- Chili Pepper Oil Instructions:.
- Cut each scallion into 3-inch lengths.
- Smash ginger root with side of cleaver.
- Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add scallions and ginger. Turn off heat immediately. After 5 minutes, discard the scallions and ginger. Cool for 5 more minutes.
- Place chili flakes in a bowl and ladle the cooled oil over them. Cover and leave over-night at room temperature. Strain oil and bottle it. Store the chili flakes in a covered jar. Both will keep indefinitely if refrigerated.
- Soy Sauce – Chili Pepper Oil Dip Instructions:.
- The soy sauce and chili pepper oil can be mixed in advance in these proportions, or left in separate containers to be mixed by your guests in the desired proportions.
- Siopao Filling instructions:.
- Heat the 3 tbsp of sesame oil in a wok at high heat. Using a spatula, coat the sides of the wok about half way up with the hot oil.
- Sauté the garlic and onion in sesame oil.
- Add the pork or chicken and stir-fry until lightly brown.
- Add the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl, minus the eggs, then pour into the wok and stir-fry until it thickens. Add more soy, hoisin, oyster sauce or sugar to taste.
- Remove from heat and add eggs, if desired, then set aside to cool or refrigerate. (It’s easier to handle when cold).
- Siopao Dough Instructions:.
- Check to make sure the yeast is active by sprinkling it over ½ cup of the tepid water. Let stand until completely dissolved and the mixture begins to bubble. (about 5 minutes).
- Mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together in a bowl, whisking to mix evenly.
- Add softened lard, the dissolved yeast, milk and remaining water and mix with wooden spoon.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. And knead until it loses most of its stickiness.
- Place the dough ball into an oiled ceramic bowl and cover with a damp towel. I used a ceramic coated Le Creuset Dutch oven.
- Warm your oven on its lowest setting for 2 minutes and then turn off.
- Place the covered dough in the oven for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in volume. The dough is now ready to be used for the siopao recipe.
- Siopao Assembly Instructions:.
- Punch down dough and divide in half.
- Reserve one of the halves in the bowl and cover with the damp towel. Roll the other half into a cylindrical dough stick about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter.
- Cut into 12 equal portions and cover with damp towel.
- Roll and flatten one of the small dough balls in the palm of your hand, then place it on your prep surface and roll the disk out to 4 inches in diameter. Roll the edge thinner than the center. NOTE: it is helpful to have a very small, oblong pastry rolling pin (flat in the middle, tapering ends), I had a larger oblong one that I made due with.
- Hold the dough disk in hand and place a tablespoon of filling at the center.
- Begin pleating edges of the dough at the top forming a pocket for the filling with your other hand.
- Gently guide the filling into the pocket with your holding hand’s thumb if need be.
- Continue pleating around to complete the pocket and close it off by twisting the pleats together.
- Attach a wax paper square to the sealed end and place, paper side down in on an oiled cookie sheet, giving enough room for the dough to rise a little more. Cover up reserved ones with a lightly damp towel until ready to cook. Let the buns rise again for 20 – 45 minutes.
- Continue the rolling and filling procedures until you have made the first 12 siopao buns. Repeat procedures with the remaining ingredients.
- Siopao Cooking Instructions:.
- Place hot water in a wok to come within an inch of the bottom of the steamer. Boil water in a controlled fashion so that the water is not trying to leap out of your wok or pot but yet plenty of hot steam. Keep a pot of water boiling off to the side, in case you need to replenish the water in the wok.
- Arrange the siopao, paper side down in an oiled steamer basket allowing room between each. I’ve cooked siopao in two sets of dual stacked steamers with great results.
- Set the steamer over the wok for 10 – 15 minutes. Resist the urge to lift the lid while steaming. It will stop the dough from rising.
- Remove steamers and allow siopao to cool a little before moving to wire cooling rack. Serve warm.
- The siopao freezes well to and can be reheated in a microwave oven for a minute on high or re-steamed.