|Alternative names||Salapao (Thailand), Manapua (Hawaii)|
|Place of origin||China|
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.
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.
There is a similar derivative in Thai cuisine called salapao (Thai: ซาลาเปา). Salapao are sometimes made with a sweet filling for a dessert. It is also a favorite in Hawaii where it is called manapua.
- Frances Lorraine Haw-Ang (August 25, 2010). "Top 10 Siopao in Manila". www.spot.ph. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
- "Ang Pinaka: Ten popular Pinoy urban legends". GMA News. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
- "Salapao – Chinese Steamed Buns". www.thaizer.com/. January 15, 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2010.