Siomai: A Favorite Snack of Filipinos

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Who wants to eat some siomai from Siomai House raise your hands!!! Have you ever eaten steamed siomai or not yet? If not then I will tell you all about siomai and the #1 siomai brand in the Philippines. 

First of all, a little bit of introduction and disclaimer. This is not a commercial post, I am in no way paid to write about them nor am I getting any compensation from any siomai company but I love Siomai House siomai so I will blog about it. If they send me a free pack of siomai and their special chili garlic condiment/sauce because of this then I will gladly accept it! Haha. (I wish i wish i wiiiish!)

(Photo credit: dodongflores via Flickr)




♥     What is Siomai?     ♥

Siomai is a Filipino favorite snack food that has it's origins in China. The Philippines has been home to Chinese immigrants for decades, probably even way before the Spanish colonization, thus the Chinese influence will probably never disappear in our food.

In China it is called shaomai ( 烧卖/燒賣) and is a traditional dumpling food type originating from Inner Mongolia. The Japanese call it shumai. In the Philippines it can be called siyomay in Tagalog and is mostly eaten steamed but fried ones can be bought and ordered in other food stalls/restaurants too. 

Siyomay is composed of the following ingredients according to Wikipedia:

...ground pork, beef, shrimp, among others, combined with extenders like garlic, green peas, carrots and the like which is then wrapped in wonton wrappers.

(Photo credit: Martiniko via Wikipedia)


It is usually found being sold locally in market food stalls or kiosks in malls, sidewalks, train stations, school vicinity or anywhere it is possible to see one! As long as there's a franchisee stall/kiosk in some place then it will be available and popular in that area.




♥   Siomai as a Business Venture   ♥

(Photo credit: Siomai House via Facebook)


Before Bernabest Food Merchandise Inc. introduced it's brand, I only know siomai was mostly bought at Chinese restaurants, supermarkets and other food kiosks selling the fried version of it. When their brand slowly became popular due to word of mouth and it's exquisite flavorful taste, it became a big hit to Filipinos in Metro Manila and all over the country.

Due to the rise to popularity of Siomai House in the previous decade, a lot of other brands followed suit and showed up as competitor like Master Siomai and Siomai King. Each brand have their own distinct feature that makes one different from each other thus a variety of delicious siomai is now available in the market.

(Photo credit: joanneQEscober via Flickr)


In 2001, Bernabest Food Merchandise Inc. started their food venture business with empanada, another Filipino snack that is popular in the Ilocos Region. Eventually they became known when they launched their brand Siomai House, primarily due to the chili garlic sauce mix they add to the siomai snack. All those seasoning in the toyomansi dip made the pork shrimp siomai so delicious and addictive to the Filipino people that everyone who could franchise it started to clamor to be a franchisee. 

pinoy_food(Photo credit: ArtGirl via Bitlanders)


What made it popular aside from it's amazing flavor and taste, I think, is the affordability per order and accessibility. Their food stalls originally sprouted in places where there are a lot of people including malls and places where public transportation is, like MRT/LRT stations. Since it is readily available to eat in a jiffy and tastes really heavenly, more franchises popped up all over the metro.

Ask any Pinoy (Filipino) which siomai is the best and most probably they will say Siomai House if they have eaten it. If not then I don't know where that Pinoy has been living, probably outside the Philippines. Lol.

Siomai House only offers the steamed pork shrimp variety and nothing else. Oh they also have a gulaman drink plus they already offer any order with rice too, making it a complete Filipino meal! To this day, I consider it the number 1 brand when it comes to siomai.

(Photo credit: Siomai House via Facebook)


In case you are planning to be a franchisee, you should have P250,000 (approx USD 5,000) in order to get a franchise. You also have to find your own stall/kiosk location which they will have to approve. (Site ocular has a fee.) And then you need to get permits and acquire all the usual business needs to legally operate it. Plus you need to find employees and have them trained too.

In case you are interested to franchise in your area, look into fulfilling their requirements first and then you can contact them via email or phone number.

The other big brands might have lower franchise fees but I haven't checked yet. Definitely if it is not a famous siomai brand, you can have a food cart franchise of maybe around P30k up to P70k only.

siomai_house(Photo credit: dbgg1979 via Flickr)


Otherwise if you'd rather not take a loan due to lack of funds or financial sponsors/business partners to have a franchise, why not make your own siomai and sell it to your neighbors, friends etc. Or just make some to eat at home and serve to your guests. :D




♥   How to Make Siomai and Chili Garlic Sauce!   ♥

I bet you didn't think of making your own siomai right? But yes you can! Even I can! I just need to find some molo/wonton wrapper though. Ah where to buy...

what_is_siomai(Photo credit: Lqbz220 via Wikipedia)


Anyway, in order to make this delicious food, you just have to mix ground pork, shrimp, minced onion and garlic plus other seasonings. You can also add minced carrots if you like so there's some vegetable in it. After mixing them all together, you put a tablespoon of the mix in the wonton wrapper, steam it for 8 to 10 minutes and that's it!

You can also use chicken and add some mushroom and Chinese cabbage in the mix if you want. It's up to you what meat and veggies to use and what kind of siomai to make if it's homemade anyway. 

all_about_siomai(Photo credit: ArtGirl via Bitlanders)


Oh and don't forget to add some calamansi or lemon juice and soy sauce to your chili garlic condiment! Adding the chili garlic to the toyomansi dip will make you go to heaven when you eat this yummy food. (^_^) Unless of course you don't like spicy or garlicy foods then skip the chili garlic and just dip in the toyomansi. 

Here, watch this video below to know more about how to make this Filipino snack.

(Video credit: Chef n Meals via YouTube)


I'm thinking maybe I will pre-cook the pork (or any meat) first before mixing it in and making siomai but of course it's totally up to you if you want to do that too.

Now in case you want your own chili garlic sauce to go together with your homemade siomai, then you can search YouTube for recipes or try this one. I found a good video but it's in vernacular so I will put this one instead for the international readers.

(Video credit: LittleChef Asia via YouTube)


You might think it's overcooked and almost burnt but of course don't make it into charcoal. Cook until it is a dark brown color and not black. Lol.

If you like cooking and earning money then you can turn this into a business too for sure! If not, just buy some at your nearest Siomai House branch or any store selling siomai and enjoy eating!

chinese_food_in_the_philippines(Photo credit via Pixabay)



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Written for Bitlanders by ArtGirl. All rights reserved
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