The 7-eleven Siopao Asado

Siopao were in rectangular house glass divided by perforated metal layers (stainless steel). It was an electric steamer intended to cook the bread and keep it hot.  Flavors and sizes with corresponding prizes were listed on front door.

Big siopao asado cost 39 pesos each. If my memory served me right, vendor on the next street was selling siopao buy one take one for 30 pesos per order. I am her regular customer actually. Each of the same size as the one behind glass door. Anyway, it was a product of 7-eleven 24 hours convenience store. Goods prices are expected higher.

Time was 11:30 near midnight. It was the only open store. Besides, the money on hand was not mine. I bought three, one for me, one for bro and one for sis.

7 fresh siopao and sauceActually there were two night shift karenderias within my sight, but I and company wanted siopao, nothing else.

Siopao were wrapped in small rectangular plastic – the same bag used to wrap burgers, then packed in small sando bags. Both bags are plastic but biodegradable, the oxo-biodegradable plastic. See Oxo Biodegradable Plastic Nine Months Test.

7 eleven biodegradable sando bag

Siopao bottom was lined with a printed parchment paper. It was easily noticeable and thus may prevent accidental ingestion. Brother ate his while I was driving home. It was dark and he accidentally ate some paper lining.

siopao asado parchment paperEvery siopao came with two sauces, the Delmonte Siopao Sauce. Content of each pack was about 1/5 of local competitors. Two packs were not enough for this big siopao. Sauce rating = poor.

del monte 7 eleven siopao sauceHad a small red dot on top center, indication of asado filling. I cut it along the center and found a big hole lined with shredded meat and sauce. The other half has one small size of whole meat that tasted awesome. Thumbs up for the small piece of meat. Overall siopao rating = fair.

siopao cross section view

The Bite Size Siopao Tokwa

This was the second installment of siopao making practice. Practice makes perfect and failure should be omitted from the dictionary.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 tsp baking powder
1 piece tokwa

I cut the tokwa to six pieces then deep fried. These served as siopao fillings. This was my second try. I still never wanted wasting expensive meat ingredients in  case something went wrong. Bought the tokwa for ten pesos per three blocks – about 3.33 pesos per block.

fried tokwa

I mixed all the ingredients. Added water gradually while mixing until it reached the dough like consistency. Then shifted to hand kneading. Took additional flour as necessary until the dough almost never stick to hands and table surface.

While kneading, I was digging shallow holes on dough using fingers. Holes that never rise back are sign of well done dough – as seen on several demonstrations.

I still used the brown sugar to defy the traditional siopao white color. However, the addition of margarine overpower the brown sugar and gave a yellowish color. I refrained from using instant yeast since my previous try failed to leaven.

I divided the dough to six portions. Rolled each in  between palms and flatten with a rolling pin. Fried tokwa were wrapped with it. Then cooked in steamer for 15 minutes.

bite size siopao tokwa

My second siopao trial went well. The bread taste and texture were almost similar to commercially available siopao. Fried tokwa is best with soy sauce and calamansi mix. So I use it as sauce and the bite size siopao tokwa tasted great.

bite size siopao tofu cross section

Dough Keading Practice | For Siopao Recipe

This was a bread kneading practice before making the actual siopao. I am a real novice when it comes to bakery. I need practice badly.

I started by mixing 1/4 cup of lukewarm water, 1/8 cup brown sugar and a pinch of instant dry yeast. I let it stood for about 10 minutes. The yeast together with sugar and water will be responsible for bread leavening. The yeast will feed on sugar producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. The elastic dough will entrap air (CO2) resulting to bubble shape air spaces and bread leavening.  Brown sugar defies the white siopao tradition.

Mixed 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup brown sugar together and added the yeast mixture. I first used spoon to form the dough then switched to hand kneading method. Then divided it several bite size pieces and set aside for one hour to allow leavening. I never prepared filling of any kind. More cash will go to waste basket in case something went wrong.

flour and brown sugar

There was no change in size after one hour. Still no change after another 30 minutes. Maybe the yeast I incorporated was not active. I also noticed that it was spreading slightly.

small brown siopao dough

Kneading develops flour gluten. My kneading process and time might not be enough.

I repeated the kneading. To replace the non-active yeast, I added Calumet baking powder according to label instruction. Kneaded again until the dough was almost not sticking to hands and table surface. Divided to bite size pieces and let one hour to rise.

At last, the bread rose after one hour. Slight spreading was still noticeable though. I steamed for 15 minutes and the size was almost doubled.

The resulting bread taste and texture were good.

bite size siopao after steaming

The Paper Beneath Every Siopao

I love siopao. I love it that I often forgot to remove the thin piece of paper beneath. The paper is thin, tasteless and looks like a part of the bread. The color is semi transparent white. It really mimics the siopao color and texture.

siopao parchment paper

How many of you have eaten the piece of paper? Frankly, I thought the paper was really edible. Way back, during my elementary years, a classmate gave me a soft candy. I removed the outer plastic wrapper. Another piece of packaging was covering the candy. I was about to peel it off when he said, “no need to remove, that paper is edible”. I did what he said and ate the candy with the paper intact.

Actually, the paper is a parchment paper or bakery paper. It is cellulose type – edible but not digestible. It is made by passing paper pulp in bath of sulfuric acid or zinc chloride. It is used to prevent sticking of siopao to steamer surface. It should be removed before eating.

The Pusao, Siopao with Cat Meat (Karne ng Pusa))

I refrained from eating siopao before. Why? There was a rumor that siopao filling was made of cat meat. We all know that cats are raised as pets, not for its meat. Cat meat is not common in trade so eating such is a yuck! Besides eating such is not unethical. Imagine eating your pet!

Now, siopao is one of my favorite buy. I never believed that its filling is made of cat meat. Who could resist the yummy taste of popular asado and bola bola.

Is the rumor about pusa siopao true?

I asked my favorite siopao store about the rumor. They said the issue is vague. According to them, it came from Chinese people – the pioneer siopao maker.

My better half said: It might be true. There was a television news. A group of people are catching wild cats. Those cats are being sold to siopao maker. Hmmm…..

I also searched about it on web. Never found a clear answer. Do you know about this? Please tell me!