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Siopao -Asado (Steamed buns with chicken filling)

Siopao is a popular Filipino snack. They are steamed buns that are filled with savory-sweet saucy meat dish called Asado or meatballs. siopao

Steamed buns are very popular around Asia although it may be called differently in every country. Filipino Siopao Asado is similar to the Chinese Pork steamed buns ‘Char Siu Bao’. Not surprising since it was the Chinese who introduced us this wonderful food.

Back home, Siopao is one of the favorite snacks and the usual choice is  Asado or Bola-bola. Asado is a way of cooking meat that has a sticky sauce that is both sweet and salty, it can either be pork or chicken. Bola-bola, on the other hand, uses ground meat to make meatballs as a filling. I already wrote about Chicken Asado before and you can get the recipe here.

Try this easy recipe for Siopao - Asado (Steamed buns with chicken Asado filling). It also includes a video for the instructions. |

Siopao is usually sold in Chinese restaurants but it is also easily found in small stores or establishments or even sidewalk vendors, great on-the-go food.

I remember the first time Armin tried Siopao. It was during a long bus trip coming back from Bantayan Island to Cebu City. We had a shortstop and I was feeling hungry so I went down to look for something to munch. Lucky me,  a store was selling some steaming Siopao Asado and I got just one for me because I was was not sure if Armin would like them. He is usually not a fan of food that is sweet and salty. But after I convinced him to try it, I ended up going down again to get two more because he liked them…too much I think! Peace hon! 😉 

Try this easy recipe for Siopao - Asado (Steamed buns with chicken Asado filling). It also includes a video for the instructions. |


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4.75 from 28 votes

Siopao -Asado (Steamed buns with chicken filling)

Try this easy recipe for Siopao - Asado (Steamed buns with chicken Asado filling). It also includes a video for the instructions.
Print Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Asian,Chinese,Filipino
Keyword: siopao
Servings: 10
Calories: 171kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pouch active dry yeast - - about 1 Tbsp
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons shortening - or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Chicken Asado Filling


  • In a bowl, mix together the warm water, 1 Tbsp of sugar and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • In a big bowl, combine the flour, rest of sugar and baking powder. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and the 3 Tbsp shortening. Mix well until a dough forms.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Coat the dough with oil and place in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for an hour or until it doubled in size.
  • Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured surface. Roll into a log and divide into 8-10 equal portions.
  • Form one into a ball and then using hand of rolling pin flatten it into about 4-5 inch circle leaving a small bulge in the middle. Scoop a tablespoon of filling and place it in the middle. Gather the ends towards the middle from one side until you reach the other end closing the filling in. Pinch and twist to seal the ends together o top. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Let them rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Before steaming, put a piece of parchment or wax paper at the bottom of each bun. Place the buns in the steamer leaving at least an each apart as they will rise and spread while steaming. Steam for 15 minutes. Turn off the steamer or remove from heat and let it stay closed for 5 minutes before removing the cover.
  • Let the buns cool a bit before serving.



You may also use instant yeast and add it directly to the flour or dough without the need of proofing it first.
Nutrition Facts
Siopao -Asado (Steamed buns with chicken filling)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 171 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 94mg3%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 3g6%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.



Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing. Made this recipe already thrice but I made pork asado instead for the filling. The siopao dough is easy to do and tastes awesome!!! I’ve made your maja, espasol and kutsinta recipe. I love your site. Doing my amazon shopping thru your links as a small thanks. <3 Will def try your other recipes. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I have tried several siopao dough recipes but this one is by far my favorite 🙂 Thanks for sharing this wonderdul recipe.

  3. Tried other recipes. Found it so easy. I mixed my yeast with the flour. Used avocado oil and hot water. Dough rose so well.
    Love your simple, easy recipes.

    Request for you to make Sans Rival!

  4. Hi! I have instant active yeast. Do I still do step just leaving out the yeast and then add the yeast to the flour instead?

  5. Hi, I love all your recepi. But I can’t understand why your siopao only asking for 30 resting n proofing. Others they usually have one hour. Then i was more confused your asado siopao your yearst n water are setting aside. Proofing time is one hour. Do u have different recepi of siopao

    1. Hi Rose, those are just a guide. The best rule will be to allow them to rise until almost double the size. It will all vary depending on the temperature of your surroundings and other factors.

  6. Salamat Bebs 😍😍😍 perfect ang recipe mo!!!! Ang Sarap ng dough at ng chicken asado❤️❤️❤️Thank you 😊🙏

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you for a great recipe! I made it for the first time today and it was a big hit. The flavor and texture of the bread was perfect, but I overfilled so that might be why I didn’t get nice round top on my siopao. It was warm when I making the batch so next time after I halve the dough, I’ll keep half in the fridge to slow the rise. Also I did try vinegar in the boiling water and didn’t find it made a very big difference. Thank you much , Bebs, for the video and recipe.

    1. Hi Geri, yes refrigerating the other half of dough will help. Thanks for your update about the vinegar. Try adding it to the dough itself too. But no need really for a very white siopao if you ask me..😉

    1. Yes, you can freeze the dough before the first rise. When you are ready to use it, take it out and put in the fridge overnight to thaw then at room temperature to rise.

  8. 5 stars
    How many ounces or grams of dough would you recommend per Siopao , I just want to make it uniform and make sure that it has a good ratio of dough and filling. Thanks you

    1. Hi Aiai, I haven’t gotton to measure them as we are fine with the irregular sizes 😉, but if you need to have them in uniform size, I suggest weighing the dough and dividing it into 10..or upto 12 for smaller buns.

  9. Hi Bebs ,
    Thank you so much for sharing your lovely siopao recipe . I’ve tried making this earlier and it’s perfect . Keep safe always.

  10. Hi bebs,

    Hope you are doing well, i just wanted to ask if i can use plain flour for the siopao recipe as we don’t have it here in Uk.
    Hope to hear from you.

    Many thanks,


  11. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe and its perfect.

    I love how easy your recipes to follow. At first I was hesitant to make siopao as I have seen some very complicated recipes online until I found your recipe. Super easy to follow and perfect.

    Thanks for sharing

  12. 5 stars
    Hi Bebs,

    Your recipes are absolutely foolproof!
    I’ve tried this siopao recipe and the silvanas too. So perfect. Thank you!

  13. Hi Bhebs , I haven’t try your recipe yet, i just want to know the difference using active dry yeast to instant dry yeast. Thank you

    1. Hi Mariglor, active dry yeast (ADY) normally requires that you proof it first in warm water while instant yeast can be added directly. I also find that dough made using ADY rise slower than that made with instant yeast. If you are going to refrigerate the dough for next-day-baking, I suggest using ADY.

  14. Have you tried making these with rice flour? I want to make these gluten free for some friends who struggle with celiac but haven’t been successful. If you have a recipe to experiment with it would be great to try it. Thanks

  15. 5 stars
    I looked at a lot of recipes but when I saw you were from Pampanga via the chicken asado recipe I knew I was in the right place. The asado was spot on perfect and my skills with the bun will improve. I hope. I have a small steamer basket and the last batch was perfect and we won’t discuss the first two batches! Next time we double the recipe and work on the bun. One question though, is it possible to let it rest too long after the filling?

    1. Hi John, thank you so much for the perfect rating 😊. If you do not plan to steam the filled bun the same day or for several hours, just place them in the fridge. They will rise much slower and sometimes it is better that way. If this is what you plan to do, do not use instant yeast, use Active Dry Yeast.

  16. 5 stars
    Found this site because I had a random urge to make Siopao a few days ago. This recipe is legit, Super easy and perfect buns. I’m making another batch tonight. Though I’ll be adding half a boiled egg on top of the filling. I’m going to be making so many dishes from this site. Thank you for putting this site together.

  17. 5 stars
    My Siopao tend to open while they’re streaming. I’ve made several seems like no matter how ‘good’ I think they’re pinched closed, half of them still open. Do you have suggestions of how to fix this? Or what could be the culprit? Thank you! Love your recipes! And definitely love Siopao!

    1. Happens to me too and I see nothing wrong with that. In making authentic char siu bao that is actually the aim— to have the top to burst open to let out the steam. But if you don’t want that, remove or reduce the baking powder and try steaming using cold water first and at low temperature.

      1. Thank you so much for your response! I may have figured out to not knead the dough so much after the first rise. I watched your video again along with others and you don’t seem to handle the dough too much, which I like. Just punch it down cut and flatten. 👍🏼

  18. 5 stars
    I have used your siopao recipe several times. My family love this. My question is, why is it that whenever I knead my dough, it’s sticky. I follow all the measurements. In your video, your dough doesn’t have any residue on your kneading surface.

    1. Hi Vickie, the flour varies from one place to the other or even just the brand used. Just reduce the water or add more flour. It should be a little sticky but should also lessen as you knead.

  19. Hi, I am here in San Diego, CA and I have a lot of SAF Gold yeast. Can I use this on your siopao recipe. IF Ok how much to use based on your siopao Chicken or aside recipe. Thanks a lot

    1. Hi Astra, it could be the leavening agent you used, too much can cause it to collapse when cooked. Try it without baking powder. It could also be that the rising time was too long before steaming them.

    1. Hi Sara, usually after boiling it for an hour the liquids should have thickened, try to cook it longer uncovered. You may also dissolve a tablespoon of flour in a 1/4 cup of water and add (some of) this (a tablespoon at a time) at the end of cooking stirring well until it becomes thick before turning off the heat.

  20. 4 stars
    H Bevs I can finally make siopao ( we love jumbo) thanks to this easy recipe. I bought a stand mixer and used the dough hook. We wanted a sweeter dough so I used 1/3 c instead. Can this recipe be doubled? Thank you so much!

      1. Just wondering if I doubled the recipe should I also double the yeast. Two tablespoons of yeast might be too much don’t you think. Please let me know

        1. Hi Dawn, yes it will be a lot. You might have a problem with the other dough rising too much while forming the others and might result also in yeasty tasting buns. Just use the same amount. It might take longer to rise but it will give you enough time to shape them all.

  21. 4 stars
    Hi Bebs…here in U.S. there are prepared “dough” for making pies, etc. already on the frozen section of groceries. All we cook are the “palaman” or whatever you want to put in it and shape them as the way u want, which is the most “quicker” and convenient way. Steam or bake them as you wish. I also made Puto and or kutsinta…with my “Talking Rice Cooker”…lolz…but I guessed the “Old Ways of Making Sio-Pao” is still the best…try putting left over Chili (almost dried ) for fillings…Yummy:)

    1. Hi BP, lucky you to have your prepared dough. I would love to have it also to save time when needed! Thanks for the chili tip, will try it next time!

  22. 5 stars
    Hi Bebs, came across your recipe while looking for a siopao one. Made a total mess trying to shape them so decided to just oven bake them. Filling was corned beef and boiled egg. Came out super light and delicious. Have just made another batch but just the dough, cheese, black pepper topped with sesame seeds. Once again absolutely delicious. Thanks for the great recipe but doubt it will ever make it to the steamer, I love the crunchy texture the oven gives it.

    1. Whatever works for you Tom, I know shaping them is a bit tricky, but I am sure it is also good baked instead of steamed. By the way, a less complicated way would be just pulling and pinching the ends together to seal the filling inside and then place it upside-down on a wax paper, easy and less messy. 🙂

  23. Hi I made this recipe last night .unfortunaley it didn’t rise and it was flat ☹️☹️What have I done wrong .please help …

    1. Hi Jenny, have you tried proofing your yeast to check if it is alive and active? Make sure to use only warm water not hot or it will kill the yeast.

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