It all started with making Siopao or Steamed buns as to how my catering business started.
Siopao is a comfort food here in the Philippines that almost everyone loves it! It was during one of my mom’s visit that she brought along ingredients to teach me how to make Siopao. Honestly, I wasn’t really concentrating when she was showing me how to make it step by step. I was distracted with all the noise and excitement whenever family comes to visit. Good thing she wrote the recipe down in my notebook. After her visit, I decided to try making the Siopao since I still have a lot of the ingredients she brought along. As expected, the first try was the worst. The Siopao dough came out hard and funny looking. Yet, knowing myself very well it always pose as a challenge whenever I get failures on my first try. So I tried and tried again. Looking back at the recipe my mom jot down, there were several discrepancies that I had to revised. These revisions that I discovered in time led me to make one of the most wonderful recipe in my catering business. The most numbers of Siopao orders I was able to fill in was 200 pieces in an afternoon. Here is my own Siopao recipe.
1 kilo Ground Pork
1 cup Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce
I head Garlic chopped
2 pcs Onion Big sliced
Salt, pepper and sugar
400 grams of All Purpose flour
100 grams Cake Flour
250 grams water
10 grams yeast
140 grams refined sugar
10 grams Baking Powder
20 grams shortening
1 big hard boiled egg sliced
Sliced Chinese Chorizo or sausage
Procedure in making Siopao Filling:
We call this “Asado” in the Philippines. You can make another variation that looks and tastes like steamed meatballs. First, heat the cooking oil and saute the chopped garlic. Put in the pork and seasoned it with salt and pepper. Put in a cup of soy sauce, mix until it browns evenly. Put in the Lee Kum Kee sauce and add sugar. Filipinos love sweet tasting Asado so I usually add more sugar. I recommend that you put in half cup water with dissolved cornstarch when the pork is almost done to make the filling pasty. It would be easier to wrap it in the dough later.
Procedure in making Siopao dough:
Put in water, yeast and half the mixture of all purpose flour and cake flour in the bowl. In medium speed, mix it together until smooth for 10 minutes. Combine sugar, baking powder and shortening to the mixture. In slow speed, mix it for 15 minutes until it becomes a dough. Take out the dough from the dough beater and knead it manually for another 3 mins. Manually kneading makes the dough light and soft when steamed. Once you’re done, you can cut it evenly. This makes 12 pieces of Siopao. You can now wrap the filling, add a slice of egg and top it with a piece of chinese sausage. Put it in a steamer and cover it with a towel. Put the uncooked siopao in a dark room or space for an hour.
Steam for 15 minutes.
You will notice that there are some procedure that is quite different. In fact, I really have no idea what a dark room or space can actually do. Yet, this is a proven way of making great Siopao and it is actually very interesting! After several months, my mom came to visit again and she was quite surprise with the Siopao I make. Now it was her turn to ask me for a recipe.