Siopao were in rectangular house glass divided by perforated metal layers. It was an electric steamer intended to keep it hot. Fast food chain and convenient store like this have commissaries for preparation. They are only reheated in stores. There is high probability that every siopao you buy are re-heated. For every stall, buying them pre-made is economical and convenient than making it in-store.
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.
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. The material with questionable characteristic claim. It has to be under direct sunlight for long periods to start and fully degrade. Otherwise, it will be like any other plastic that end as environmental hazard. Environmental NGO groups included this in their protest.
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.
The paper is not made to be harmful I guess. Like the candy we used to eat when were in elementary grade. It was the Tootsie Roll if I was not mistaken. The taffy was wrapped in paper, then in plastic. My classmates insisted that I should eat the paper part also. I did. It was not delicious but definitely never brought harm to me.
The paper on siopao bottom was for cooking purposes. It is there to prevent sticking from perforated steaming vessel. The bottom part sure looks ugly when it stuck and you force remove it. It is not meant to be eaten but safe in case someone accidentally ingest it. I did before because I was also ignorant.
Every 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. It was barely perceivable. Spilling sauce while eating is common. There is no way it’s gonna happen with this. Sauce rating = poor.
Had 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.
If I can choose, I want the bread as thin as possible. The filling inside is what attracts the buyer. Not the whitish bread. Also true for empanada and hopia. I always prefer the one with generous filling. Side trip with empanada. I saw someone making huge with a very thin wrapper. It was awesome. People were lining up that I had no chance of buying.
I think I made this before. The dough is filled with meat of choice. Shaped. Then steamed instead of baking in dry oven. Mine was siopao mini and has bit of yellowish shade. It has something to do with flour quality perhaps. I used the not so white all-
It can be made of other things like fish, eggs, meat dishes like menudo, adobo and Bicol express . You can even put banana cue in. It is your choice. There is nothing wrong with it.
The norm is cook the filling before putting it in. Every dish has its own complexity. It will not magically transform once inside the thick dough.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.