Filipinos have enjoyed this small version of the Chinese dish Siopao, not only because it is relatively easy to eat when you’re late from school or work but because of the Pinoy essence in it. Puto Pao is made out of Puto, a steamed rice cake, and the fillings usually seen in Siopao: chicken or pork.
Cooking this recipe can also give you a start of a small business because of the small profit it needs. A right balance of soft from the fluffiness of the puto, and tenderness and savory taste of the fillings will surely turn you into a millionaire if you turn this into a business. Or maybe just the best cook if your family. Start cooking by using this recipe!
For the batter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk (I used fresh milk)
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup sugar
For the filling
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup onion, minced
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 3 Tbsp water
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
- ¼ tsp blackpepper
- 3 hardboiled eggs, sliced into 1/8’s
- Cheese (I use Eden Cheese)
For the batter
- In a bowl, sift and mix flour, baking powder and 1/2 cup sugar. Add water and milk and mix until well combined and free of lumps.
- In another bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually until stiff peaks form, and then fold into the batter.
For Pork Asado filling
- Heat up olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute the garlic and onions until the onion is almost translucent.
- Add the pork and stir-fry until light brown. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and sugar then mix well. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until pork is tender.
- Add the cornstarch and mix until the sauce thickens.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool down. Remove excess oil.
To make the Puto Pao
- Prepare the steamer by filling it halfway with water and then add 1 Tbsp vinegar. (This will prevent the puto pao from turning yellowish.) Start heating up the steamer. Slightly grease puto molds.
- Fill puto molds halfway with batter. Top each with about 1 Tbsp Pork Asado filling and 1 slice of egg. (For the small molds, I only used about half tablespoon filling). Add some more batter to each puto mold to cover the filling.
- Arrange in steamer and steam for 15 minutes. Place cheesecloth in between each pan to avoid water drips. Remove steamer from heat and top puto pao with cheese. Steam for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool down. Remove from mold before serving.