So the other day my aunt called me asking if I could make her and her friends some siopao. For those who don't know what siopao is, it is a steamed bun usually filled with a meat mixture, but I also make a vegetarian version. The Chinese counterpart is called Bao. This is something that I make quite often and I would do anything for my aunt, so I said yes. This time around, I had to make 6 dozen and it normally takes me a full day (or two half days) tom make that many. They wanted bola bola for the filling, so I started with that. For those who don't know what that is, it is a meatball, any type of meat you like, with a piece of Chinese sausage and a slice of hard boiled egg, all covered in a sweet sauce made with soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar. Unfortunately, I can't share my dough recipe with you, but I wanted to share the technique. I'm also very excited to tell you that I actually took pictures, which I kept forgetting to do before.
How to construct a Siopao
Very strong mixer, unless you have the strength to do this by hand. If you do, please tell me your secret :D
Filling - Any kind will work, I made Bola bola
Dough produced by the strong mixer
Wax paper or just regular paper cut in squares
Steamer - bamboo or metal. I have a metal one because the bamboo one scare me. With my luck, it will catch on fire.
Cooling rack, you don't want soggy bottoms :D
This is a whole bowl of yeast that I'm proofing. I should have taken a picture of it next to my kitchen aid so you could judge on how much I made, but I forgot :D
I had to use this bad boy this time. Complements of The Mother. BTW I didn't take the picture crooked. The table holding the mixer is a little off (The Father made it, and The Husband just shakes his head at it)
There was about 36 cups of flour in the bowl.
Take the mixed dough and divide it into little balls. Doing this allows the dough to proof, but do not let it proof too long since you need to still knead the dough.
Take one of the dough balls and roll out a little disc with a little hill in the middle. Place your choice of filling and bring up the sides to make a little ball.
Once you bring up the sides, pinch the bottom to seal the bun and place the sealed end on the wax paper.
Prep the steam bath with lots of water and a little vinegar (the vinegar will assist in keeping the dough white). Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Place a tray of buns on top of the boiling water and cook for about 8-10 minutes, depending on the amount of buns and how large the steamer is. You may need to adjust the heat and time a little to get the desired result. It takes a lot of practice.
Once done, place on a cooking rack. I told you I made a lot of them.
It more or less looks like this except with meat balls. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of that :D