Annie's Chamorro Kitchen: Siopao (Pork Siopao)

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Photo courtesy of Annie's Chamorro Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Annie's Chamorro Kitchen

Annie's Chamorro Kitchen: Siopao (Pork Siopao)

by: Lt. Col. Annette Merfalen | .
Annie's Chamorro Kitchen | .
published: April 09, 2015

Siopao is a favorite snack on Guam that is of Chinese (Cha Siu Bao, or Chinese BBQ Pork Buns) or Philippine origin (Siopao Asado).  The Philippine version of these buns are normally steamed, while the Chinese version of these delicious snacks are also baked.

You can prepare siopao COMPLETELY from scratch, but there are a couple of shortcuts I take to make the preparation quicker and easier.  I do make the dough from scratch, but I save a whole lot of time by using leftover pulled pork from my Hawaiian Pulled Pork recipe.  Unless you are feeding a large crowd, you will most certainly have enough pulled pork leftover to make siopao (I use a 9-10 pound pork shoulder to make my pulled pork).  All I do is add a few more ingredients to the pulled pork to turn it into a sweet pork filling for my siopao.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. :)

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups flour

Filling:

  • About 4 cups leftover Hawaiian Pulled Pork (See previous recipe of Hawaiian Pulled Pork)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup water mixed with 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • Optional:  6 hard boiled eggs, quartered (so you have 24 pieces of boiled eggs)

NOTE:  To make chicken siopao, use shredded cooked chicken (I like to use a rotisserie chicken) instead of pulled pork

Directions:

Hawaiian Pulled Pork recipe
Make my Hawaiian Pulled Pork recipe, then set aside about 4 cups of pulled pork.  Enjoy the rest of the pulled pork for your dinner.  In the next day or two, used the leftover pulled pork to make siopao. J

Dough recipe

  1. Heat the water in a microwave-safe measuring cup for about 30 seconds.  The water should feel warm to the touch (like the temperature of your skin).  Stir in the tablespoon of sugar and yeast.  Set it aside for about 5 minutes.  *Note: The yeast should have more than doubled in volume from all the bubbles.  If you don’t see a lot of bubbles, your yeast wasn’t “active” anymore and you should start this step over.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg then add the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar.
  3. Slowly mix in half of the flour to the egg mixture.  Add the yeast mixture and mix well. Gradually add the remaining flour.  The dough should begin to leave the sides of the bowl but it will still be a bit sticky.  After you’ve added all of the flour and the dough has not left the sides of the bowl, add up to 3/4 cup of flour (don’t use more than 3/4 cup), a spoonful at a time, until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.  Once the dough leaves the sides of the bowl, switch from the paddle to the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer.
  4. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Do not add more flour or it will make the dough tough.  If you’re kneading the dough by hand, if the dough is sticking to your hands, lightly spray your hands with cooking spray.
  5. Lightly oil (or use cooking spray) another bowl. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place it in the greased bowl, turning it around so all sides are greased. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and place in a warm place to rise. You want to let it rise until the dough doubles in size (about 1-2 hours, depending on how warm the room/area is).
  6. While you’re waiting for the dough to rise, prepare the filling.  Place the leftover pulled pork into a medium sized pot.  Add the garlic, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce and hoisin sauce.  Bring the mixture to a boil then quickly stir in the water-corn starch mixture.  Return the mixture to a boil, cooking until it thickens.  Set the pork filling aside to cool (I placed the filling into a bowl and placed it in the freezer to cool while my dough was rising).

Cut the dough into 24 pieces (for larger siopao) or 36 pieces (for smaller siopao).  I made 24 larger pieces that measured about 4 inches in diameter after it was cooked/steamed.

Use a rolling pin to flatten each piece of dough into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.  Keep the center of the circle slightly thicker than the edge.  Place two tablespoons of filling in the middle of the dough.  Optional:  Add a piece of egg on top of the filling.

Pull the dough up around the filling, pinching to seal.  The sealed part becomes the bottom of the siopao.

Place the siopao on a piece of parchment paper, pinched side down.  Continue filling the remaining pieces of dough.

After all the dough is filled, place in your steamer basket.  I can fit about 6 large siopao in mine.  Don’t let the siopao touch the sides of the steamer, and leave about an inch or two between each one.  Place a clean kitchen towel between the steamer pot and the lid to prevent the condensation from dripping back onto the siopao. Steam for 20 minutes then remove from the steamer to cool.

Enjoy while still warm.

Freeze any uneaten (and already steamed) siopao. To reheat, defrost the siopao in the refrigerator then reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Annie's Chamorro Kitchen website

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