When you cannot bake & craving bread, you can always make STEAMED BUNS ! You don’t need meat to enjoy these steamed buns, also called as “Siopao” in Filipino. Meat makes the blood impure, making the body sluggish & brain foggy. You can use the vegan fillings you prefer but I used green jackfruit here as a sub to processed faux meat. This recipe yielded about 16 pieces which was sweet ! I love to eat this with shumai which I’m posting soon !
FOR THE ASADO FILLING
▪︎ 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
▪︎ 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
▪︎ 300 gm of green jackfruit, shredded
▪︎ 1/3 cup light soy sauce or tamari
▪︎ 2 tbsp black strap molasses (instead of oyster sauce)
▪︎ 3 tbsp coconut sugar
▪︎ 2 star anise
▪︎ 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 cup water
▪︎ few tbsp water or any vegetable oil for sauteing
▪︎ natural umami or mushroom seasoning, few tsp or to taste, optional
FOR THE SIOPAO DOUGH
▪︎ 260 ml lukewarm soy milk
▪︎ 2 tsp dry instant yeast
▪︎ 2 tbsp coconut sugar
▪︎ 1-2 tbsp cornstarch
▪︎ 1/2 tsp salt
▪︎ 4 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
▪︎ 1 tsp baking powder
▪︎ 1 tbsp vegetable oil for dough plus extra oil for greasing bowl
FOR THE SIOPAO DOUGH
▪︎ In a bowl, combine the siopao dough ingredients : soymilk, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir well until dissolved. Let stand for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the mixture is foamy.
▪︎ In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder & vegetable oil. Mix well.
▪︎ Add yeast mixture to the flour mixture. Mix together then transfer to a clean & lightly floured work surface in the kitchen & knead for about 5-10 mins until it forms a dough & the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
* You may need to add a little bit of water if dough is too firm. It needs to be quite soft & smooth.
▪︎ Transfer the dough back to the bowl after cleaning it & greasing with extra oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or until double in size.
▪︎ Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a lightly floured clean work surface, and form into a long log.
▪︎ With a knife, cut the dough into about 16 equal size pieces.
▪︎ Form each piece into smaller balls. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise for about 30 minutes.
TO COOK ASADO FILLING
▪︎ On medium heat, saute garlic then after about a min, add onion and saute til translucent.
▪︎ Add all the rest of ingredients including jackfruit & stir.
▪︎ Cover & simmer until shredded jackfruit is quite soft & sauce reduced. Don’t overcook to keep the meaty consistency. Adjust amount of seasonings to your taste preference. Set aside to cool. Don’t forget to remove star of anise.
TO ASSEMBLE SIOPAO BUNS
▪︎ On a clean working surface, place one piece of dough, and with a rolling pin, roll out into about 4 to 5-inch diameter, making sure to get edges thinner than the center.
▪︎ Place about a tablespoon of the meat filling in the center.
▪︎ Gather the edges of the dough, pleat around the filling, and twist to fully secure.
▪︎ Place bun on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
▪︎ Arrange prepared buns in a single layer on a flat baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel, and allow to rise again for another 10-20 minutes.
▪︎ In a steamer, place buns in a single layer, an inch-apart.
▪︎ Steam buns on low heat for about 10 to 15 mins. Keep the lid on for about 3 to 5 minutes to prevent the buns from deflating.
▪︎ Remove from steamer and serve with your preferred sauce.