Siopao (Filipino Steamed Dumplings)


Warning - this recipe is not easy, but well worth the effort. This is a Filipino dish with Chinese roots. A steamed, almost sweet, yeasty bun filled with delicious chicken filling can also be made with shredded pork. You will need a bamboo steamer.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 55 mins
15 pieces


  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast

  • 1 ½ cups lukewarm water

  • ¼ cup white sugar

  • 4 ½ cups rice flour, divided

  • ½ cup solid vegetable shortening, divided

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped, or to taste

  • 1 ½ pounds shredded cooked chicken meat

  • ¼ cup soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons white sugar

  • ½ cup diced green onion

  • 1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, if needed (Optional)


  1. Dissolve yeast in the water; stir in the sugar and beat in 2 1/2 cups of rice flour to make a soft sponge. Set aside in a warm place to double in bulk, about 40 minutes. Mix in 2 more cups of rice flour and 1/4 cup of shortening and place the dough on a greased work surface; knead in the remaining 1/4 cup of shortening to make a smooth dough. Cut the dough into 15 equal-sized pieces; form each piece into a ball.

  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the onion and garlic in the hot oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of sugar, green onion, salt, and pepper. If the mixture is juicy, add cornstarch to thicken.

  3. Working on a lightly greased work surface, flatten a dough ball into a circle about 4 inches in diameter with the heel of your hand. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of the dough ball, bring the edges of the dough together at the top, and pinch and twist to seal in the filling. Place each filled dumpling onto waxed paper with the pinched seal at the bottom while you finish the rest of the dumplings.

  4. Spray a multi-layered bamboo steamer with cooking spray, place the steamer on top of a large saucepan, and pour in water to several inches below the steamer. Bring the water to a boil.

  5. Working in several batches, place 3 or 4 filled buns into each steamer layer without letting the buns touch each other or the edge of the steamer, cover the steamer, and let the buns steam over medium-low heat until puffy and the dough is springy, about 15 minutes per batch. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

346 Calories
11g Fat
44g Carbs
16g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 15
Calories 346
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 270mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 167mg 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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