Susan, AKA Kiwicook
Susan, AKA Kiwicook

Susan, AKA Kiwicook

In her days as a recipe developer, Susan has created over 450 recipes. Her Dutch and New Zealander roots serve as a basis for her culinary inspiration.

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The February Daring Bakers’ challenge is hosted by Julie of One-Wall Kitchen. She challenged us to an easy, simple filled bun using no-knead dough.

What I love about The Daring Kitchen is that you get to make stuff that wouldn’t ordinarily be on your ‘must make’ list. You are challenged to explore national dishes from around the world, methods unknown to you, unfamiliar tastes. These buns definitely fall into that category for me. Take a bite into this beautifully soft bread bun and you find a delicious, still warm Asian-inspired meat and gravy filling.


This challenge proved enjoyable from start to finish – not too easy that it was a walk in the park, nor too daunting. The biggest challenge, of course, is keeping that pesky filling inside the bun. You wait anxiously by the oven as they cook, nervously looking for signs that the contents are finding tiny holes in the dough that you’ve overlooked and spilling out over the oven tray. When you get past that first 10 minutes of baking without a spill in sight, you feel ridiculously triumphant!

I’m so glad I tried these. While I generally avoid gluten-based products these days, they were a nice change to the usual lunch fare.



Making Siopao at home is easier than you might think! This recipe guides you through the process – mixing a simple dough, creating a flavorful pork asado filling, and shaping and steaming the buns until fluffy and delicious. The perfect project for adventurous bakers!
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Snack
Servings 12 Buns
Calories 289 kcal


  • 1/4 oz active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 to 5 cups all-purpose (plain flour)
  • 1 egg (for egg-wash)


  • 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 lb ground pork or pork shoulder, cubed
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce (or hoisin sauce)
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 star anise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
  • ¼ cup cold water


  • Mix yeast, water, sugar, melted butter, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Slowly mix in flour until it’s fully incorporated and you have a shaggy, very tacky dough, but not wet and sticky.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for up to an hour in warm place until doubled in volume.
    SIOPAO 4
  • While dough is rising, you can make your filling (see directions below).
  • When risen, punch down dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Depending on how much flour you added, it will be somewhat tacky to pretty tacky. Fold it over several times and shape it into a smooth ball, then divide into 12 equal pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a ball and flatten it into a disc about 6 inches (15 cm) wide.
  • Place a heaping tablespoonful of filling into the center of the disc, wrap the dough around the filling, and firmly pinch it closed over the top of the filling.
    SIOPAO 5
  • Place filled buns (pinched side down) on a baking sheet and loosely cover them with plastic wrap. Let them rest for 1 hour.
    SIOPAO 6
  • Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4. Beat 1 egg in a small bowl for egg wash and brush on top of each bun.
    SIOPAO 7
  • Bake buns for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.


  • Heat oil in skillet (frypan). Saute yellow onion, then add garlic and cook for a minute.
  • Add pork and brown it.
  • Add soy sauce, oyster or hoisin sauce, sugar, and star anise and cook filling until pork is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
    SIOPAO 8
  • Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Take out the star anise, wash and reuse.
  • Place cornstarch and water into a small bowl and stir with fork or small whisk until cornstarch is dissolved.
  • Stir cornstarch mixture into filling and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Then remove from heat and cool before making the filled buns.


Calories: 289kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 11gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 483mgPotassium: 172mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 62IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Asian filled buns, Filled Buns, Siopao
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Susan, AKA Kiwicook
About The Author
Susan, also known as the Kiwi Cook, hails from Levin, New Zealand, and has a unique Kiwi-Dutch-British heritage that influenced her culinary upbringing. As an artist, tutor, writer, and editor, Susan dedicates her weekends to creating delectable dishes. Her food philosophy embraces moderation and listening to her body's needs.


  1. Hi Susan, you really surprised me with these Siopao as I’d expect only Western cuisine from you. The siopan looks good. Yummy!

  2. your siopao look beautiful! i’m so glad your post reminded me of their delicious existence :’) also, love the chinese newspaper accessory.

  3. I would like to try this recipe, but I think I’ll include some veggies in the filling and replace the pork with beef (I don’t eat pork). I can see the filling with some greens like kale and perhaps some tiny cubes of carrot for extra color.

  4. In the Philippines, these golden brown buns are called toasted siopao. The regular siopao is usually white and oh so soft because they are cooked by steaming the buns. But these are tasty, too!

  5. I found this recipe on foodgawker, and tried it….it is one of my new favorite meals. And it freezes well! Thanks for the share- this is a wonderful recipe!


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