Starting a Siopao Business

Make sure your products are always fresh. Customers want their siopao fresh and hot when served, says Eymard Carandang of Siopao Express. “They can tell the difference, and they’ll come back if your siopao is good.”

Produce only the siopao that you can sell in a day. Siopao is perishable, so it’s a good idea to make only what you can sell. “We produce and deliver siopao to our outlets every day to ensure they’re always fresh,” says Ngan Tian of Lots A Pizza. “If the siopao in the steamer is not sold at the end of the day, you must throw it away,” says Carandang.

Know what your market wants. When Pacita Cheng of Pao Express gave away peanut, mongo, and ube siopao as birthday giveaways, those who received them pushed her to introduce the sweet varieties in the market. Ngan Tian came up with chicken asado siopao for her Muslim customers. “It’s important to come up with products that will suit the market,” she says.

Be consistent. Be careful with your mixing and preparations to produce consistently clean, nutritious , and delicious siopao, says Ngan Tian.

Be careful with blending. “The ingredients that you put into your siopao should blend very well with the dough,” Ngan Tian says. “If not, your siopao will spoil easily.”

Handle your products with care. “Steam your siopao carefully so the dough does not get too soggy or too dry,” says Carandang. “You must check on them every time.”

Classic Siopao Recipe

To make the dough:

  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water 3 tbsp. oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 2 tsp. yeast

For the filling:

  • 1/4 kilo pork or chicken 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup cooked beans
  • 1 tbsp. Flour dissolved in 1 tbsp. water
  • garlic, onions for sauteing


  • mixing bowl
  • wide board for making dough
  • square pieces of paper for each siopao


  1. Dissolved the yeast and sugar in the warm water; set aside for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Mix together sugar, salt, oil in the mixing bowl.
  3. Add the dissolved yeast and half of the flour. Mix well.
  4. Add more the remaining flour and mix well.
  5. Knead the dough on the kneading board until smooth and fine.
  6. Make a big ball from the dough and put in the bowl lined with oil. Apply oil also on the top of the dough.
  7. Cover and let the dough rise within 30-40 minutes.
  8. Flatten the dough, cut and make small balls. Let arise.
  9. Flatten the balls, put 1 tbsp. filling in each and close. Put the ball on the square sheet of paper to keep it from sticking on the bottom of the pan.
  10. Steam the balls for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the balls.


  1. Saute the garlic, onion, sliced pork or chicken.
  2. Put in the beans, soy and a little water.
  3. Before removing from the fire, pour in the dissolved flour for thickening. Stir well.


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