Chicken Asado Filling

​​This Chicken Asado recipe has that familiar look and taste to what I have had growing up in the Philippines. And I believe you would agree, too.

Chicken Asado Filling

The meat is seared and cooked in liquid with aromatics, spices, and some deep-flavoured Asian sauce until tender and flavourful. It is both sweet and savoury and made especially for siopao or steamed buns. 

What chicken part is best to use?

Breast chicken is used in this Asado but chicken thigh may also be used. The length of time to cook it depends on the part of the chicken you choose. 

If you like to have your Asado filling ready in a short time then this recipe is for you. The chicken breast cooks faster so you are done sooner.  This will only take about 30 minutes from start to finish. Then you can move to another exciting thing – making the siopao.

Here are the quick and easy steps to a flavourful Asado filling.

  1. Sauté the aromatics.
  2. Sear the chicken.
  3. Add the liquid (chicken stock or water) and the rest of the ingredients except the cornstarch slurry.
  4. Cook for about 10 mins. Take the chicken out and shred.
  5. Add the chicken back into the pan and stir in the cornstarch slurry.
  6. Coat the chicken with the sauce and simmer briefly until the sauce slightly thickens. Set aside.
Perfect for siopao (steamed buns)

Do you have to cook the filling first before the siopao dough?

It is a matter of preference. You could start with the Asado filling first and make the siopao dough next. That is how I would normally do it. But you could also begin with the siopao dough and cook the Asado filling while you leave the dough to rise. Do what is more convenient for you.

This tasty and easy-to-follow recipe is adapted from Paula’s of Fil-Dan Kitchen. She is a Filipino mum based in Denmark who also loves to recreate Filipino favourites in her kitchen. 

Hope you give this one a go!

How To Make Chicken Asado Filling

Chicken Asado Filling

This Asado filling is mildly sweet, savoury, and delicious in siopao (steamed buns). It is cooked using aromatics, spices, and selected Asian sauce to bring up that flavourful and familiar taste of siopao in the Philippines.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings: 16 Asado siopao (steamed buns)
Author: MyJoyDelights


  • 2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 790 grams chicken breast boneless/skinless, sliced in half horizontally
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce optional
  • 1 - 2 tbsp sugar (brown or white) adjust to preferred sweetness
  • ¼ tsp five-spice powder optional
  • 1 star anise
  • ¼ cup water for the cornstarch slurry
  • 1 tsp cornstarch (cornflour)


  • Add oil in large pan over medium high heat.
  • Stir-fry garlic and onion, about 3 mins or until onion is soft.
  • Add the chicken and fry, 2 mins on each side.
  • Add stock or water, soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and five-spice powder. Stir and bring it back to boil. Adjust heat to low and cook for 10 mins uncovered.
  • Transfer chicken onto a plate and rest for 2 mins. Shred or dice (whichever you prefer). 
  • Meanwhile, dissolve 1 heaping tsp of cornstarch in ¼ cup of water. Set aside.
  • Place the shredded chicken back into the pan. Stir to coat with the sauce and simmer for 2 mins.
  • Add the cornstarch slurry to the pan and stir well to combine. Cook until the sauce slightly thickens, 2 -3 mins. Take the star anise out. Let it cool before using as siopao filling.