Pork and sago dumplings

Pork and sago dumplings

Leanne Kitchen

Looking for all the world like jewels, and often sold sitting on trays lined with well-oiled banana leaves, the distinguishing feature of this Thai snack food is the exterior, made from a translucent skin based on sago. Called sakoo sai moo, they’re delicious and fairly easy to make. Although on the streets of Thailand they make them tiny, ours are somewhat large in comparison. Just remember to wet your hands or the sago mix will stick madly to your skin.


Quantity Ingredient
2 large red asian shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1.5 cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
300g minced pork
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon shaved palm sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
50g roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
325g sago (tapioca) pearls
625ml water, boiling


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the shallots, garlic and ginger in the oil, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until light golden. Add the pork then cook, stirring to break up the meat, for 3 minutes or until the pork has changed colour. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, palm sugar, pepper and 40 g of the peanuts then cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes or until the mixture is quite dry. Remove from the heat and cool.
  2. Meanwhile, put the sago in a bowl, add the boiling water and stir to mix well. Stand until cool enough to handle.
  3. With wet hands, take a slightly heaped tablespoonful of the sago mixture and form it into a 7 cm disc in the palm of one hand. Put a heaped teaspoon of the pork mixture in the middle of the disc, then use your palm to cup the sago disc around the filling. Use the fingers of your other hand to bring the edges up over the filling to meet in the middle. Squeeze the edges together gently with your fingers to seal and form an enclosed ball. Put on a lightly oiled dinner plate, large enough to fit into a large bamboo steamer, leaving room between each ball for expansion. Repeat the process with the remaining sago mixture and filling – you will need more than one plate.
  4. Put the dumplings in a large bamboo steamer in a wok or large saucepan filled with enough boiling water to come just to the base of the steamer. Put a plate of the balls in the steamer then cover and cook for 12–15 minutes or until the sago is soft and translucent. Scatter over the remaining peanuts and transfer to serving plates. Repeat with the remaining dumplings and serve.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again