May 3, 2007

siopao ( char siu bao )

Started thinking about this steamed Chinese roll or bun when my cousin from Chicago told me about Wow Bao, Chicago's dimsum place selling these hot Asian buns, which they tried sometime ago. We both got inspired and tried to make them at home. Improvements have to be made to the dough with my initial trial but I think I must have undercooked the first batch I steamed. For the filling, I have leftover pork and chicken adobo which turned out a bit bland, so I shredded the meat and simmered it in a hoisin sauce based sauce. I got the recipe for the filling as well as the dough from the local paper's food section which I clipped and saved. Back in Manila, my sister in law used to make siopao using a recipe shared by a cousin who learned it from one of Manila's well known cooking show tv personality Sylvia Reynoso-Gala. She has a cooking school in Manila where my cousin took the class. There's another good siopao store and brand in Manila, Kowloon. I remember their siopao with the whitest dough I've ever seen and with a very fine fluffy texture. Sometime ago when I was experimenting on a puto or steamed rice cake recipe, I tried folding in or adding beaten eggwhites to the rice cake batter before steaming and the result was very similar to the Kowloon siopao dough. I thought that must be the recipe and technique they use. They must use rice flour instead of all purpose flour. No wonder the texture is quite different. I need to research more about it though. Siopao, has long been a favorite in the Philippines. It's best paired with hot mami or Asian style noodle soup made with chicken or beef.

ready to be steamed siopao

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