Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chicken Siopao (Steamed or Baked)

My husband will rave about his mom's siopao every time he craves for them. Siopao is popularly known as steamed buns. It has a sweet dough with a delicious chicken filling. Anyway, my mother-in-law's final project for her Masters in Diet and Nutrition (University of the Philippines) was this recipe of siopao. They have a family friend who used this recipe and had thriving Siopao business in the Philippines. So, I wanted to make sure that I have permission to share this before I posted anything.

I used the exact ingredients but modified the procedure. Mom didn't have a stand mixer with a dough hook back in the late 80's. And I also tried a baked version because I don't have a big steamer.

Mom also advised me to make the filling ahead of time and freeze it. That way, it is easier to assemble and seal the siopao without the hassle of a seaping sauce. But of course, I have to learn it the hard way myself. I made the filling AFTER I made the dough. I wanted something to do while I waited for the dough to rise. LISTEN TO MOM! So, I'm writing down this recipe according to the better way it should be done.

Steamed Buns

Baked Buns
Here's the recipe and the pictures I took when I made them. I've done this three times already. I halved the recipe the time I took this photos so don't be confused.

Yield: 24 pieces


  • 2 cups chicken, cut into shreds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water (100-110 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Prepare the filling. Mix together the cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce and anise in a bowl and set aside. Heat wok. Add chicken, onion, water, salt and pepper. When chicken is almost cooked, stir in the anise mixture. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat. Remove star anise from filling. Cool and freeze.

Chicken Asado filling

Prepare your dough. In a small bowl, mix together water, 2 tablespoons sugar and yeast. Set aside and wait for the yeast to activate for about 10-15 minutes.

Activated yeast
In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with dough hook, mix together flour, baking powder, 3/4 cups of sugar and vegetable oil. Blend well. Add activated yeast and run mixer until dough no longer sticks to the bowl.

Place dough in a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Return to bowl, cover and let rise until doubled (about 2 hours).

Assemble the Siopaos. Prepare risen dough. Punch down and roll into a log. Cut into twenty-four (24) pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Cover.

Flatten each ball into a circle 4-6 inches in diameter making sure all edges are thinner. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of filling in the center. Gather edges of circle over filling, twist and pinch edges together to seal.

Cut 3-inch squares of wax paper and place under buns with seams side up. Place buns on baking sheet, cover and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Steam for 12 minutes in rapidly boiling water.

When cooked, transfer to cooling rack or slotted bamboo steamer.

Baked version. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place buns with seams side down on a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Chicken Siopao


  1. Hi. Thank you for sharing. I got a different recipe from Panlasangpinoy website but their measurements seems off with the dough, hence the change. Plus, I always have hard time sealing it (even with frozen filling). I get lucky with some but most opens up at the top and it doesn't look pretty. I will try your dough recipe and hopefully it will work better for me. My little guy is helping me make the siopao, please visit his our page: - thank you! Keep sharing your recipe :)


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  3. Tried this recipe with a bread maker for the dough and it came out good!!!Thank you for the recipe!


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