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Siopao1.jpgSalat pao street vendor chiang mai 03.jpg
Top: Siopao buns with chicken filling; Bottom: A street vendor in Chiang Mai, Thailand, selling various types of salapao
Alternative namesSalapao (Thailand), Manapua (Hawaii)
Place of originPhilippines

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


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

A unique variant from Siargao Island is the paowaw, a dessert bun which has a filling of bukayo (sweetened shredded coconut meat).[3]

An old urban legend or canard alleges that siopao is made from cat meat, due to the relative cheapness of siopao and anti-Chinese prejudice.

In other countries[edit]

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[edit]


  1. ^ Frances Lorraine Haw-Ang (August 25, 2010). "Top 10 Siopao in Manila". Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  2. ^[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Damo, Ida. "Two Unique Snacks from Surigao: Paowaw & Milledo". ChoosePhilippines. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Salapao – Chinese Steamed Buns". January 15, 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2010.