Back in the Philippines this type of steamed bun is one of my favourite comfort meal, when I am hungry and want some quick and easy fast food this would me one of my few choices. So what is special with this jumbo siopao compared to the others like siopao asado and siopao bola bola, well it is made out of different meats like chicken, pork (char siu and Chinese sausage) and a salted duck egg, it is huge (hence the name) and very satisfying. Usually served with hot sauce and/or hoisin sauce, one of it is enough to fill that hunger.
Steamed buns or siopao is definitely popular in China but others might not know that this Asian steamed bun is also popular in the Philippines, I guess if there is a McDonalds or Jollibee in an area a siopao vendor would not be so far away. Like I said there are a lot of siopao vendors in the Philippines and my favourites are Henlin, Ma Mon Luk and Kowloon House. On those 3 shops its only Kowloon House who sells the jumbo pao but there are a lot of shops who copied them and from my experience its only Kowloon shop who makes this siopao spot on, the others I tried are nowhere near in terms of taste and quality (I am not sure of what the scenario today, the last time I tried this was a decade ago).
Now that I am nearly 8000km’s away from those shops the only means that I can have this is to recreate them at home. By using my successful siopao dough recipe and the additional ingredients I know of, here is how it’s done.
Ingredients (Steamed Buns)
3 cups dumpling flour + 1/2 cup for dusting
200 ml warm water
1/2 cup + 2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp shortening or vegetable oil (use shortening to make it whiter in colour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
400g finely chopped or minced chicken thighs
150g char siu
2 salted duck eggs, quartered
1 pc Chinese sausage, sliced into 8 pcs
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
4 tsp brown sugar
4 tsp sesame oil
Ingredients (Water for Steaming)
water, for steaming
1 tbsp of vinegar per litre of water, for steaming
1. Mix all filling ingredients together except for the char siu, duck eggs and Chinese sausage. Set aside.
Method (Steamed Buns)
1. Mix together yeast, 2 tsp sugar, and 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Set aside in a warm location for 30 minutes.
2. Mix remaining ingredients except for the baking powder then knead dough until dough surface is smooth and texture is elastic; occasionally dust the board with dumpling flour. Place in a greased bowl then place in a warm location, set aside for 2 hours. After two hours the size would be doubled.
3. Deflate dough then spread on floured board. Add the baking powder evenly then knead for 5 minutes.
4. Divide into 8 pieces then roll them thin, place a 50g of the mixed mixture in the middle, a slice of char siu, a slice of Chinese sausage and a piece of quartered egg. Seal them on top, place buns in a greased paper. Do with the remaining dough and filling. Set aside in a warm location for 30 minutes.
5. Prepare your steamer by pouring water and vinegar. Vinegar will make sure your buns are white.
6. Place buns into steamer container then steam siopao for 30-40 minutes.