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Siopao -Asado (Steamed buns with chicken filling)

siopaoSiopao is a kind of steamed buns usually filled with meat. Steamed buns are really popular around Asia although it may be called differently in every country. Filipino Siopao Asado is similar to the Chinese Pork steamed buns ‘Char Siu Bao’ and not surprisingly because Chinese were the one to introduce us this wonderful treat. Back home, Siopao is one of the favorite snack and  the usual choice is  Asado or Bola-bola. Asado is  a way of cooking meat that has a sticky sauce that is both sweet and salty, it can either be pork or chicken . Bola-bola, on the other hand, uses ground meat to make meatballs as a filling.   I already wrote about Chicken Asado before and you can get the recipe here.

siopao recipeSiopao are usually sold in Chinese restaurants but it is also easily found from small stores or establishments or even sidewalk vendors, great on-the -go food. I remember the first time Armin tried Siopao. It was during a long bus trip coming back  from Bantayan Island to Cebu City. We had a short stop and I was felling hungry so I went down to look for something to munch. Lucky me,  a store was selling some steaming Siopao Asado and I got just one for me because I was skeptic if Armin would like them. He is usually not a fan of food that are sweet and salty. But after I convinced him to try it, I ended up going down again to get two more because he liked them…too much I think! Peace hon! 😉 

steamed buns


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Siopao -Asado (Steamed buns with chicken filling)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-12 siopao
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ¼ cup & 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 pouch instant dry yeast
  • 2½ all-purpose flour
  • ½ Tbsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp shortening (or veg. oil)
  • 1 tsp veg. oil
  • Chicken Asado Filling
  1. In a bowl, mix together the warm water, 1 Tbsp of sugar and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. In a big bowl, combine the flour, rest of sugar and baking powder. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and the 3 Tbsp shortening. Mix well until a dough forms.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes of until smooth and elastic. Coat the dough with oil and place in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for an hour or until it doubled in size.
  4. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured surface. Roll into a log and divide into 8-10 equal portions.
  5. Form one into a ball and then using hand of rolling pin flatten it into about 4-5 inch circle leaving a small bulge in the middle. Scoop a table spoon of filling and place it in the middle. Gather the ends towards the middle from one side until you reach the other end closing the filling in. Pinch and twist to seal the ends together o top. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Let them rest for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Before steaming, put a piece of parchment or wax paper at the bottom of each bun. Place the buns in the steamer leaving at least an each apart as they will rise and spread while steaming. Steam for 15 minutes. Turn off the steamer or remove from heat and let it stay closed for 5 minutes before removing the cover.
  7. Let the buns cool a bit before serving.

How to make Siopao with Asado filling (steamed buns) |


Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

This Post Has 13 Comments
    1. Hi Sara, usually after boiling it for an hour the liquids should have thickened, try to cook it longer uncovered. You may also dissolve a tablespoon of flour in a 1/4 cup of water and add (some of) this (a tablespoon at a time) at the end of cooking stirring well until it becomes thick before turning off the heat.

  1. H Bevs I can finally make siopao ( we love jumbo) thanks to this easy recipe. I bought a stand mixer and used the dough hook. We wanted a sweeter dough so I used 1/3 c instead. Can this recipe be doubled? Thank you so much!

  2. Hi Bebs…here in U.S. there are prepared “dough” for making pies, etc. already on the frozen section of groceries. All we cook are the “palaman” or whatever you want to put in it and shape them as the way u want, which is the most “quicker” and convenient way. Steam or bake them as you wish. I also made Puto and or kutsinta…with my “Talking Rice Cooker”…lolz…but I guessed the “Old Ways of Making Sio-Pao” is still the best…try putting left over Chili (almost dried ) for fillings…Yummy:)

    1. Hi BP, lucky you to have your prepared dough. I would love to have it also to save time when needed! Thanks for the chili tip, will try it next time!

  3. Hi Bebs, came across your recipe while looking for a siopao one. Made a total mess trying to shape them so decided to just oven bake them. Filling was corned beef and boiled egg. Came out super light and delicious. Have just made another batch but just the dough, cheese, black pepper topped with sesame seeds. Once again absolutely delicious. Thanks for the great recipe but doubt it will ever make it to the steamer, I love the crunchy texture the oven gives it.

    1. Whatever works for you Tom, I know shaping them is a bit tricky, but I am sure it is also good baked instead of steamed. By the way, a less complicated way would be just pulling and pinching the ends together to seal the filling inside and then place it upside-down on a wax paper, easy and less messy. 🙂

  4. Hi I made this recipe last night .unfortunaley it didn’t rise and it was flat ☹️☹️What have I done wrong .please help …

    1. Hi Jenny, have you tried proofing your yeast to check if it is alive and active? Make sure to use only warm water not hot or it will kill the yeast.

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