May 22, 2011

Steamed Flower Rolls for Kulinarya Cooking Club

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Steamed Flower Pao
steamed flower rolls (pao)

Sefie and Connie chose Flores de Mayo (May Flowers) for this month's Kulinarya theme. Flores de Mayo is a colorful month-long festival held all over the Philippines honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary, with small girls all dressed in white offering flowers. The highlight at the end of the month is a combination religious and beauty pageant procession [held after attending a novena in church] called Santacruzan (from the words Holy Cross) featuring pretty young ladies dressed in beautiful elaborate gowns, each portraying biblical and historical women such as Veronica, Queen of Sheba, the 3 saints/virtues as queens of Faith, Hope, and Charity, and the last spot in the order of the procession is the queen of all the queens, Reina Elena (Empress Helena of Constantinople who is traditionally credited with finding the one true cross), escorted by a boy portraying her son Constantine. This spectacular religious flower festival is a must-see for anyone visiting the Philippines during the month of May.

Now on to the challenge. I was initially stumped and couldn't think of any Filipino dish to make that has flowers or at least flower design on it. I made a paella-like dish with whole banana blossoms, clams, prawns, and pork. The dish was delicious but not photogenic and was eaten right away before I was able to take photos. I didn't want to make a cake or another sweet stuff so I braised pork belly with soy sauce, sugar, fermented black beans, and dried banana blossoms and lily flowers. But heeding Sefie's suggestion to think outside the "flower box" I ended up making steamed buns (pao) but followed the shaping method for making Chinese flower rolls. *I need a little more practice to have perfectly looking flower pao.* These are so good with the braised pork and great for soaking up the greasy sauce.(^-^)

Steamed Flower Pao

Dried Blossoms for Cooking
Braised Pork Belly with Dried Banana and Lily Flowers
pork belly braised in soy sauce, fermented black beans,
brown sugar, dried banana blossoms, and dried lily flowers

And because I'm an ube (purple yam) fiend, I couldn't resist adding ube jam to a small portion of the dough, layered it on top of another small portion of the dough for a sweet ube pao. They don't look like a flower at all but they are delicious.

Steamed Ube Pao

Steamed Flower Rolls (Pao)
1 recipe siopao dough
light olive oil
sea salt
chopped scallions
  • Prepare the dough. After the first rising, divide into 3 portions. Flatten each portion into a rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick or thinner. Brush all over with oil, sprinkle salt and scallions. Roll from the short end jelly roll style and cut into 1½ inch slices. Press a plastic chopstick in the middle of the sliced dough all the way to the bottom being careful not to sever it; place on a piece of parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes. Steam over rapidly boiling water for 10 minutes.
See more flowery dishes from KCC members here.

Psst, check out my "flower" desserts, Apple Carpaccio and Cherry Blossom Friendship Cake, and drink Almond Milk with Rose Essence.



Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney (Kath, Trisha, and Trissa), who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine.

Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.


A photo courtesy of EricRP of a moderately attired reina, the Queen of Justice. The list of procession participants is here.

Santacruzan, originally uploaded by EricRP.


Wok with Ray said...

Wow Oggi, these buns look very yummy, especially with that braised pork belly. I like the flower-look of it. I think you went beyond thinking outside the flower box here. It's more like thinking outside the buns. LOL! Thank you for sharing.

Tita Flips said...

This is awesome Oggi! The buns look so moist and so soft...

Oggi said...

Ray and Diona, thanks.:)

Ray, I agree; "thinking outside the buns" is more apt. heheh

Diona, they are so soft and the yeasted ube puto have better texture and flavor than baking powder puto.

adorasbox said...

Oggi, both the buns and the flowery pork look so good. I love the flavours of that pork. The buns look so fluffy.

Juliana said...

Oh! Your flower buns are so cute...I haven't had these for a while...they look like pillow. Have a wonderful week Oggi :-)

chef_d said...

Those are lovely-looking siopao buns! What a great idea to make them flower shaped!

Unknown said...

They look wonderful. I love how you shaped them.

Anonymous said...

They look so fluffy and delicious!

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