Homemade Barbecued Pork Siopao (Steamed Barbecued Pork Buns)

A little over a week ago, I undertook a culinary (wow!) project to add to the list of dim sum treats I’ve done so far…Homemade Barbecued Pork Siopao (Steamed Barbecued Pork Buns).  I remember a Germany-based family friend of ours who told me one time that she used to make siopao for her family.  But the fact that it takes her 3 hours to make the siopao and just a few minutes for her family to devour everything discourages her from making any more siopao.  I thought it was all an exaggeration.  And boy, was I wrong! :)

It took me a long time to finally give this little project a go because kneading doesn’t quite appeal to me.  Then again, I’ve given kneading fondant a few tries so I no longer have an excuse to avoid the task.  And besides, I have an aid in the kitchen who is just too willing to knead for me. ;)

The result wasn’t too bad for a first try, that much I can tell you!  The filling is exactly how I imagined and wanted it to be – Chinese-style siopao, as opposed to the more Filipino asado-style.

Are you ready to get to work? Now’s the time to change into something comfy, so hang up your fancy dresses and tuxedo shirts and let’s get down to siopao making business.  Here’s the recipe and step by step photo tutorial.

INGREDIENTS: (Yields 16 Buns)

Filling

1/2 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup diced onions
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon catsup
3/4 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup diced cooked barbecued pork

Dough

1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons dry yeast
3/4 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
3-3/12 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 pieces wax paper (3″ x 3″ / 8cm x 8cm)

To make the filling:


Cooked barbecued pork filling

1.  In a wok or pan, cook onions in hot oil on high heat for about half a minute.
2.  Add all other ingredients, except the cornstarch and barbecued pork.  Allow to cook for a minute or so.
3.  To thicken, add the cornstarch dissolved in water.  Then mix in diced pork.  allow to cool and set aside.

Note:  You may do the filling ahead of time and freeze the unused portion.

To make the bun dough…


Dry yeast and sugar dissolved in warm water.

1. In a large bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast in warm water.  Allow mixture to sit 5 minutes.
2.  Combine warm milk with 1/2 cup sugar, stir to dissolve sugar.  Add to yeast mixture.
3.  Combine 3 cups flour with salt.  stir into liquid yeast mixture.  Stri until a firm dought is formed.


My assistant kneaded the dough for 10 minutes and didn’t complain one bit.

4.  Turn out on floured surface and knead until smooth, adding extra flour if necessary (about 10 minutes).  Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment for the kneading.

5.  Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn dough over and cover with a towel or plastic wrap.  Allow to rise until doubled in bulk.


Dough has doubled in volume.

6. When the dough has doubled in volume, remove the plastic wrap/ towel and punch the dough down.

7.  Knead for 2 minutes on a floured surface and allow to rest for another 2 minutes.  Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces.

8.  Roll each piece into a ball, then roll into a 4′” (1o cm) circle, dusting with flour if necessary.  Allow dough to rest 2 minutes.  Roll out other pieces while waiting.

9.  Place 1 tablespoon filling in center.  Pull dough over the filling and close top by pleating, pinching and twisting the edges together.

10.  Place on a piece of waxed paper, pleated edge down.  space 2″ (5 cm) apart on a steamer.  Allow to rise 45 minutes in a warm oven (95F, 35C).

Note:  I skipped this part because my oven doesn’t go down up to 95F.  But then, that’s about our present outdoor temperature!  So just cover the buns and warm them up outdoors..somewhere safe from bugs, dust and insects, of course! :)

11.  Steam for 15 minutes at full steam.  Remove the steamer cover carefully to avoid water from dopping on the buns.

As I said, not bad for a first try.  The buns turned out nice and soft, good enough to eat sans the filling.  This was my first time to work with dough and I didn’t quite know what to expect.  I had no clue how it should feel like or if the dough is too soft.  The two problems I encountered are, one, some of the buns had sunken tops and two, I pulled the dough too much on some buns that after the buns have been steamed, a bit of the filling looked like it’s ready to break out of the buns!  Not a good sight at all!

I would suggest that you do the filling ahead of time, that way, the amount of work that needs to be done doesn’t overwhelm you too much.  It is also not a good idea to make this the same time  you’re craving siopao.  The length of time you will have to work and wait to finally enjoy the fruits of your labor will just drive you to insanity.

Out of 16 siopao, only 5 were left for freezing at the end of the day.  What prevented us from gulping down everything in one day and in one sitting is the fact that it took me a long time to make them.  So it was just proper to enjoy the rest some other time. :D

It was quite a learning experience for me  and I’m just about ready to remove siopao from my Asian market to buy list, as I’ve done with siomai and dumplings. :)


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Comments

23 Responses to “Homemade Barbecued Pork Siopao (Steamed Barbecued Pork Buns)”

  1. Really interesting and they look good! I ve never tried them before. Wish to though ;)
    .-= snooky doodle´s last blog ..One fluffy chocolate cake =-.

    Reply

    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Snooky Doodle! You have to try these! Most Chinese restaurants that serve dimsum will most probably have steamed buns that have an assortment of fillings. :) I hope you get to try these some day soon. ;)

    Reply

  2. Maricel says:

    Hi! From one of the lessons I have attended, they told us that after forming the balls of dough, press down on the sides but leave a hump in the middle. place the dough circle on top of the O formed by your pointer and thumb, put in the filling while pressing down a bit then seal. Done this way, there will be more dough on top when ball is inverted and the sealed portion is placed on the piece of paper. we were also told to chill the dough to make it easier to fill the buns and so that the sauce does not smear on the dough making it difficult to seal.

    Reply

    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Maricel! Thank you so much for the valuable tip. I’ll make sure to keep this in mind the next time I make siopao. :D

    Reply

  3. These look so amazing! I certainly wouldn’t mind if they’re slightly sunken in the middle. I would like to say that I can’t wait to try and make these but I’m not sure I have the patience to do it! 8-) Can you just send some to me in a freezer pack?
    .-= Tangled Noodle´s last blog ..Food by Friends: ScottySnacks =-.

    Reply

    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Tangled Noodle! Siopao making does require patience…lots of it! :) I had to prepare for this task mentally. Hahaha! :)

    Reply

  4. Gracie says:

    wow! siopao! yum yum! and congrats on your new Kitchenaid…i bet you’re loving it :) don’t tell the hubby but that’s what i intend to get him for his birthday this month :)
    .-= Gracie´s last blog ..Chicago living =-.

    Reply

    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Gracie! Thanks! I’ve had my KitchenAid stand mixer since May 3rd as a Mother’s Day present from hubby and the Little Munchkin. :) I didn’t make a big fuss about it in any of my blogs because Hubby and my blogging about gifts never really mixed well. Haha! I’d end up getting scolded…again. You’re right, I love it! A lot! I may be overworking it a bit though. Hahaha!

    Reply

  5. abby says:

    naks galing naman weng! parang masarap, next time pag gumawa kang bola-bola, padalhan mo ako dito ha, hehe! :D
    .-= abby´s last blog ..WS FoodieWednesday 07: Compatible Food Combos =-.

    Reply

    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Abby! Naku, ang saraaaaap! Winner din kasi yung Chinese barbecue marinade na nabili ko sa Asian store. Magiipon muna ako ulit ng lakas para sa bola-bola. Kayang-kaya mo ito Abs! Ikaw pa! Use your dough hook! :D

    Reply

  6. Maricel says:

    Ooops erratum, that was supposed to be chill the filling and not chill the dough

    Reply

    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Maricel! Erratum noted. :)

    Reply

  7. Jigi says:

    yummm… that looks promising… this recipe is now in my to do list of food… thanks for always inspiring us to do many things… you always never fail to come up with the goods mate… salamat po

    Jigi
    .-= Jigi´s last blog ..Yummy Empanada =-.

    Reply

    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Jigi! Ayan ka na naman with your sweet comments. You’re making me blush again. I loved food first, then the love for cooking and baking followed and it’s a love that I discovered and which just blossomed in the last two years, more so in the last 8-10 months. Comments such as the ones you leave inspire me to give every kitchen adventure my best shot. :) Cheers, Jigs! :)

    Reply

  8. siobhan says:

    you made cha-siu paus from scratch… i am very impressed… :) we buy them frozen from our local Asian food store, they’re not as good but they ease our cravings for Malaysian food! :)
    .-= siobhan´s last blog ..Week 6: Unnecessarily Stressful! :) =-.

    Reply

    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Siobhan! It’s funny how I am able to surprise myself sometimes! Hahaha! Making siopao, or cha-siu pau, is something that has intimidated me for the longest time. I’m glad I was able to face my fear of siopao making. It’s a lot of work but it’s so worth it. :) Thanks for the visit!

    Reply

  9. alma e. says:

    hi, i am just confuse about the flour measurement is it 3- 3/12 flour? or 3 1/2 flour?
    which one is right?
    thank you….

    Reply

    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi alma! I’m sorry it took me a while to reply. :D To answer your question, it’s actually between 3 and 3 1/2 cups of flour. Start first with 3 cups then if you feel the dough needs more flour, then add some more. :)

    Thanks for dropping by!

    Reply

  10. iska says:

    bookmarked! just need the time (and guts) to do it…

    Reply

    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Awww, Iska! I’m very sure this will be very easy for you! :)

    Reply

  11. Bob the Baker says:

    Just made these fo a BBQ. Prep’d the filling yesterday, made the dough this morning. Waiting for them to finish steaming now. This is a great recipe, and I can’t wait till lunch!

    Reply

  12. […] pork filling I use is the same one I use for my barbecued pork siopao (Steamed Pork Bun). I know of at least two friends who are waiting for my puto pao recipe.  And […]

  13. […] You can find the recipe HERE. […]