Siopao Bola-bola— Soft and fluffy Filipino steamed buns stuffed with tasty meatballs, salted eggs, and Chinese sausages.
I’m sure that there are days where you find yourself randomly craving that white steamed bun you often see in Chinese restaurants, convenience stores, or even in street vendors.
Yes, imagining the Siopao is indeed enticing and makes your mouth water, right? You’ve come to the right place because now you can make the Siopao Bola-Bola at the comfort of your own kitchen!
Read the article below to see some tips and some trivia on how to make this the best siopao you’ll taste.
What is Siopao Bola-Bola?
Siopao is a popular Filipino snack which is an adaptation of a Chinese steamed bun. This has become popular all over the Philippines through bakeries and vendors in Chinese restaurants and even in convenience stores.
There are a lot of varieties when it comes to the fillings of siopao, but for this recipe, we are going with one of the popular recipes, the Siopao Bola Bola—the other being Siopao Asado.
This consists of pork partnered with different kinds of meat such as Chinese sausage, and shrimp and other common ingredients such as oyster sauce, salted egg, onion and garlic.
How to Make the Siopao Asado Sauce?
The Siopao Bola Bola is often partnered with the asado sauce for it to have more flavors as you eat it. Making the sauce is a very easy task. To start off with this, all you have to do is to combine together the ingredients and then cook it in a saucepan.
Just cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens and then you can proceed to let it cool and you have the option to seal it in a container if you want to store it for future use.
How to Assemble the Siopao Buns?
- Place the dough on a flat surface and then form into a long log shape so you can cut it easier into equal sizes. Having a weighing scale at your disposal is better so you’re sure about the sizes. Especially if you plan on selling the siopao.
- Once you form the dough into balls, this is optional but you can let it rise for another 30 minutes to 1 hour in order to have puffy siopao.
- For arranging the buns with the bola bola filling, you need to flatten the dough balls using a rolling pin. One tip is to make the edges thinner, keeping the center thick so you have a nice base for the siopao.
- With a tablespoon, scoop a portion of the bola bola filling and then place at the center of the flattened dough.
- Wrap the edges onto the center, covering the filling and then ping the center and twist to secure the siopao.
- Transfer the siopao pieces into a steamer. A good distance would be an inch apart from each other to allow space to cook evenly and nicely. Steam for about 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure that the steamer is set to low heat.
- Do not immediately open the steamer lid after steaming, so that we are sure the siopao won’t deflate. Keep it there for 5 minutes or so.
For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:
Special Siopao Bola-Bola Recipe
- 500 g ground pork
- ¼ cup shrimp, chopped
- 1 pc Chinese sausage, sliced
- 1 pc medium-sized onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp cornstarch, diluted in 2 tbsp water
- 2 pcs salted egg
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, (or 4 tbsp shortening)
- 250 ml warm milk
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast, diluted in 1 cup warm water
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp sugar, combined with the yeast
- ½ cup sugar, combined with the flour
- salt and pepper, to taste
Asado Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- In a bowl, add in the ground pork, shrimp, onions, garlic, sesame oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Add in the diluted cornstarch and mix until well-incorporated and the consistency is sticky.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
- In a mixing bowl, add in the all-purpose flour mixture, baking powder, shortening (or vegetable oil), and then add in the diluted yeast mixture.
- Mix until a dough is formed and continue to knead until smooth and no longer sticky.
- Cover the dough and set aside in a warm place for the dough to rise for 1 to 2 hours.
- Knead the dough and cut into equal slices.
- Form the dough into small balls and let it rise once again for 30 minutes.
- Flatten the dough pieces and place the bola bola filling (about 1 tablespoon) in the middle of the dough and wrap around the filling, twisting at the top to secure.
- Transfer the siopao into the steamer and steam in low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. You can keep the steamer lid on for 5 minutes after steaming to make sure the buns do not deflate.
- Transfer to a serving plate or serving tray. Serve and enjoy!
Asado Sauce Instructions:
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add in the water, cornstarch sugar, minced garlic, and soy sauce. Mix until well-incorporated.
- Cook while stirring regularly until the sauce thickens.
- Transfer to a plate or a container. Partner with the siopao bola bola and enjoy!
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