Siopao Pinoy Style Dim Sum

READY IN: 2hrs 20mins
YIELD: 24 Siopao




  • 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.