Pinoy Siopao Asado

Siopao  means “steamed buns”. It is a popular snack in the Philippines and it is mostly sold in Chinese restaurants or food chains and by side vendors on the streets. In Thailand, it is called salapao and manapua in Hawaii. It can be consumed on-the-go and it does not require any utensils to eat. There are different varieties based on stuffing like asado or bola-bola which may use pork, chicken, beef, shrimp or salted duck egg.

Before I have tried making siopao  just to satisfy my cravings eventhough it does require a lot of time and effort. My mom had requested it because it is not readily available in abroad and Filipino foods are very rare during that time.

That’s why I have prepared an easy guide on how to achieve the perfect texture and taste of siopao filled with asado mixture. I am posting real recipes that I had worked on with outstanding finish product and I assure you they are the best.

Here’s the complete recipe of Siopao dough, Asado filling and Siopao sauce to satisfy your hunger for Chinese-Filipino cuisine.


Siopao “steamed bun”

YIELD: 1 dozen or 14 pieces


  • 2 tsp. yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp/ salt
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 4 1/2 cups flour


  1. Soften the yeast in lukewarm water with 1 tbsp. of sugar.
  2. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Mix together the remaining sugar, salt and oil in a bowl.
  4. Add softened yeast and half of flour. Then, mix well.
  5. Add the remaining flour and continue mixing until well blended, knead on floured board until smooth.
  6. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Grease the surface of dough and cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap.
  7. Set aside and let it rise for 30-40 minutes in a warm place (like oven).
  8. Punch down dough,divide it into desired sizes and form into balls. Then, let it rise again for 30 minutes.
  9. Flatten dough pieces and spoon prepared asado filling  or any desired filling into the center,
  10. Seal dough and shape into small balls.
  11. Place a piece of clean paper at the bottom of the balls to prevent them from sticking to the steamer. (Note: I usually use a clean bond paper and cut it into squares with equal sizes.)
  12. Let the balls rise for the last time from 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until double in size.
  13. Steam for 10 to 15 minutes. (Note: period of steaming depends upon the size.)
    I got a small steamer so it took me a lot of time to finish each batch of steamed buns.


  14. Serve it while hot with siopao sauce.

You can prepare the Asado filling and siopao sauce ahead of time before steaming the buns.



  • 1 kg. chopped pork into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp. oil or shortening
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 large minced onion
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch diluted in 1/4 cup water
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. hoisin sauce (if available)


  1. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the garlic and onions.
  2. Put in the pork and cook until light brown.
  3. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce and sugar. Then, mix well and simmer for 40 minutes.
  4. Put in the cornstarch diluted in water and mix until it thickens, set aside.siopao

But when I’ve finished everything, I can say that I’m fully satisfied with the outcomes.

Siopao Sauce

YIELD: 8-10 servings


  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • season with salt & pepper
  • 4 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pc. star anise
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch (diluted in 4 tbsp. of water)
  • extra water


  1. Heat the sauce pan and pour in the beef broth and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add onions, garlic, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, salt pepper and anise. Then, simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Make sure to cover the sauce pan to trap the steam and add extra water as necessary.
  3. Remove from heat and filter the liquid using a strainer with fine mesh.
  4. Heat a another saucepan and pour in filtered mixture and bring to a boil.
  5. Then, add the diluted cornstarch and stir continuously until thick.
  6. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Transfer to an easy grip sauce container.
I took a selfie with my very first homemade siopao.



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