This Is How You Reheat Siopao And Other Steamed Buns In The Microwave

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One of the pitfalls of cooking and ordering in are the leftovers. Leftovers are usually ignored until it's absolutely necessary to consume it so it doesn't go bad. Reheating is the answer to making these meals delicious again. 

Many leftovers emerge from being reheated in fair condition, even if it was done in the microwave. However, there are some leftovers that need better care than the microwave can provide without help. Siopao and other steamed buns are one of these food that you shouldn't just pop in there and nuke on its own. 

If your siopao came from the refrigerator, it's likely that the inside will need more time than the outside to get heated through. The danger of heating steamed buns in the microwave is that the once pillowy buns will dry up and harden before the filling turns hot. 

Siopao are best reheated in a steamer but if you use a microwave, do it this way to prevent it from drying out.
Photo by Patrick Martires

Normally, these need to be reheated in a steamer. However, starting up a steamer can be more hassle than it's worth, especially if you're just reheating a few buns instead of a whole basket full of them.

There's a quick fix for this using the microwave that eliminates the danger of the buns drying out: wrap the buns in a wet paper towel or clean kitchen towel

The way a microwave works is this: the microwave heats things up by making food molecules vibrate very quickly. Since the food molecules are moving really fast, friction builds up and so, the food heats up, too. This agitation makes food dry but heats up liquids quickly. The molecules in liquids are easier to agitate than in solid food, and that's why water or some other liquid is added to help the food cook in the microwave oven. 

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By heating up the water first instead of the solid mass of the bun, the water will evaporate and create steam. Essentially you're using the towel as a steamer. This is the same technique used to cook "baked" potatoes in the microwave instead of in a conventional oven. 


Here's what you do to try this trick at home: 

  1. 1 Wet a kitchen towel or paper towel with water. Wrap it around the siopao you're going to reheat. 
  2. 2 Place the wrapped siopao on a microwave-safe plate or bowl. 
  3. Place in the microwave and let it run on 100% power or High for 30 seconds. 
  4. 4 Depending on the size and the temperature of the siopao, it should be heated up sufficiently in this time. If not, microwave it on High for 10-second intervals until heated through. 

Try it and learn how easy it is to reheat steamed buns in the microwave instead of starting up a steamer. Your siopao will emerge just as soft. 


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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