Picture for illustration purposes only.


Filipino snack siopao gains popularity in Dubai


DUBAI – With more and more Filipino food is making its way to restaurants across Dubai, the popular snack siopao is selling like a hot bun.

Restaurants like Golden Fork have introduced siopao to their menu, finding that the popular snack is a quick best seller among the expatriate Filipinos in the UAE. A piece of siopao costs an average of Dh12 in the emirates.

The steamed bun is a Philippine version of its Chinese counterpart char siu bao. The snack has a sweet and savory meat filling, with a soft and fluffy, slightly chewy white bread.

It comes with two fillings: bola-bola, which is made with finely ground meat and a slice of hard boiled egg; or asado, or diced meat. Siopao best eaten with a sweet sauce made of brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and other spices.

It is believed that the siopao was introduced to the Philippines by Chinese immigrants.

The Chinese have been the Philippines’ trading partners for centuries and those who settled in the country brought their food there, which were quickly embraced by Filipinos who reinvented some of the dishes using local ingredients.

The siopao—in its various versions—is already popular in Asia, with each country having its own take on the delicious rice bun snack.

Definitely comfort food, if you’re looking for one. ICA/Expat Media

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