Perfecting the juicy ‘Siew Bao’

Daniel Lim

Making full use of the time available during the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to one generating an idea on how to fill them up.

Johesine Chin Lee Chien, 24, or Zhenn, decided to open a small home-based business in Seria specialising in making a traditional Chinese dish called Siew Bao, a bun with a crispy pastry exterior filled with juicy chicken and mushroom.

Selling the bao through her social media, ‘twistedbites.bn’, Zhenn shared with the Bulletin that she was influenced by her father who was a great cook.

“I watched closely every time he was in the kitchen,” she said. She first started to cook when she was in middle school, and continues to develop her skills, learning more recipes. Her journey led her to start baking her own version of the traditional Chinese dish Siew Bao. She said it was a challenge as the steps to preparing the dish is tedious and must be followed closely.

“We need to set aside plenty of time for this dish,” she said, highlighting how the process on making the perfect Siew Bao hinges on the balance between the crunchy exterior and the juicy interior, which she has slowly tweaked to perfection.

This created an opportunity for Zhenn to sell the dish to customers seeking for a change in their meals. She created an account on social media to reach out to customers which resulted to an increase in demand for her Siew Bao.

“There are a few comments with regard to the slightly high price of the Siew Bao, which is unavoidable because of premium ingredients,” she said. Zhenn plans to enhance her culinary skills as her plan is to explore more opportunities.

‘Siew Bao’ made by Zhenn. PHOTO: DANIEL LIM