Top: Siopao buns with chicken filling; Bottom: A street vendor in Chiang Mai, Thailand, selling various types of salapao
Alternative names Salapao (Thailand), Manapua (Hawaii)
Type Baozi
Place of origin China
  Media: Siopao

Siopao (simplified Chinese: 烧包; traditional Chinese: ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: sio-pau), literally meaning "steamed bun", is the Philippine version of the Cantonese steamed bun called cha siu bao.[1]

It is a popular snack sold mostly in Chinese restaurants or by sidewalk vendors in the Philippines. There are different varieties based on the filling: asado (cha siu bao) or bola-bola (a combination of pork, chicken, beef, shrimp or salted duck egg). There is also a baked variety.[2]

There is an urban legend about the snack alleging that cat meat is used in the production of siopao. According to historians, this story could have came from a certain sentiment towards the Chinese Filipino community or it was theorized that it could have been a smear campaign by competitors or illegitimate children from a Chinese family which runs a siopao business.[3]

There is a similar derivative in Thai cuisine called salapao (Thai: ซาลาเปา). Salapao are sometimes made with a sweet filling for a dessert.[4] It is also a favorite in Hawaii where it is called manapua.

See also


  1. Frances Lorraine Haw-Ang (August 25, 2010). "Top 10 Siopao in Manila". Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  3. "Ang Pinaka: Ten popular Pinoy urban legends". GMA News. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  4. "Salapao – Chinese Steamed Buns". January 15, 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
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