March 22, 2010

How To Make Chinese Buns

We call it "siopao" in Filipino, and "bao zi " in Mandarin. We eat it anytime as a meal or a snack. This recipe is with a soft, chewy dough that can be eaten even without filling as you would with other bread.

  • 1 1/4 cups     lukewarm water
  • 3 tsp            active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup         refined white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups     all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp             baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp          salt
  • 1/4 cup         cooking oil
  • 3 cups          cooked meat filling ( chicken adobo, meatball, as you like)
  • 12  squares cut out wax paper

  1. Disolve 1 TBSP sugar in a bowl with lukewarm water. Add the yeast and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes until frothy.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and the remaining sugar. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture. Add the oil.
  3. With a dough hook, mix until soft dough forms. It can also be done by using a wooden spoon.
  4. Knead the dough on a flat surface until soft and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with damp towel. Let it rise until it doubles the size (1 1/2 hours).   
  5.  Punch the dough in the middle to release air. Flatten the dough on a flat surface and cut into 12 equal portions.
  6. Form each into a ball by pulling down edge to the bottom.
  7. Flatten the balls again and spoon over prepared filling in the middle of flattened dough.
  8. Close the dough by gathering the edges towards the center. Twist the gathered edges to seal.
  9. Put wax paper at the bottom and let the buns stand to rise until double in size (30 minutes).
  10. Steam buns over boiling water for about 20 minutes. Make space between them. Dough will again double its size.The dough should turn off-white when cooked.

Note: Yeast is made of live micro-organisms. Too-warm water kills them and this is one common reason why dough doesn't rise. I learned it the hard way, haha!


  1. yummy.
    Ok I got a ? Im wanting to get a tattoo that has something to do with Jacob,
    How would you write Son in Filipino?

  2. funny that here in Malaysia we call it siew pao as well :) I love eating this!!


Your comment is very much appreciated. But please know that my young homeschoolers will be reading this also. Thank you.
Looking forward to visit you.