By Request


Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Filipino meat-filled bun
has origins in China

Linda Oberman, e-mailing from all the way in St. Peters, Mo., is looking for a recipe for a Filipino dish, Siopao, a meat-filled bun that is steamed.

"We had a friend who used to make this for us," Oberman says. "She would freeze them for us and we could then microwave them."

We should all have friends like that.

Alfredo Cabacungan, chef/instructor at Kapiolani Community College, found a recipe in his extensive collection of cookbooks. He says Siopao is a version of the Chinese Siu Bao -- or manapua, as it is known in Hawaii. It exemplifies the Chinese influence in Filipino cuisine, also reflected in lumpia (spring rolls), pancit (chow mein) and tocino (char-siu pork).

"The differences, as I see it, have been using indigenous products and variations based on penchant for flavor," Cabacungan says.

The pastry here could be used to wrap other fillings, should you be in the mood for manapua experimentation.


"Filipino Cuisine" by Gerry G. Gelle (Red Crane Books, 1997, $30)

>> Filling:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds pork shoulder, diced
2 medium onions, sliced
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
>> Pastry:
1 package active yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup lukewarm, water
4-1/2 cups flour
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
24 3-inch squares wax or parchment paper

To make filling: Heat oil and sauté garlic. Add pork and lightly brown. Add remaining ingredients, mix well and cook until tender. Remove from heat and cool.

To make pastry: Combine yeast with 1 tablespoon sugar and water. Allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Sift flour and pour in the yeast mixture, milk, baking powder, remaining sugar and shortening. Stir thoroughly.

Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl covered with a damp towel and allow to proof in a warm area for 2 hours.

Punch down and allow to rise another 30 minutes.

Turn dough on a floured surface, knead until satiny, roll dough into a cylinder 2-inches in diameter and cut into 1-inch rounds.

Flatten each round into a 5-inch circle. Fill each with 1 heaping tablespoon of cooled filling, then gather edges to form a pouch. Pinch dough together, roll to form balls and place folded edge down on a 3-inch square of wax paper.

Cover with a dry towel and allow to rise in a warm area for 30 minutes. Place buns 1-inch apart in a steamer and steam 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 24.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per bun: 240 calories, 10 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 310 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 11 g protein.*

Food Stuffs: Morsels

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
"By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813.
Or send e-mail to

Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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