Tapioca Dumplings : Sakoo Sai Moo

I am unsure how many times I have shared Thai street food recipes with you, but I am sure I haven’t yet shared this popular savoury appetizer named ‘Sakoo Sai Moo’.

Sakoo Sai Moo is a steamed tapioca ball filled with seasoned minced pork, sweet pickled radish and peanuts. It is served with green lettuce, coriander, fresh chilli and topped with fried garlic. The dish is a popular snack in Thailand and found at street stalls and in markets.

Traditionally this dish is made with sago starch (hence the name sakoo, which is Thai for sago), but these days tapioca is more commonly used as a substitute. 

The dish is a perfect food for a family gathering. Everyone can help prepare it or it can make ahead of time, which makes this dish ideal for serving at a party.


For sago

200g pearl tapioca

Water to wash and cover

For the filling 

10g. Coriander roots

20g Garlic

10g White pepper

200 g mince pork

200g sweet pickled radish 

150g crushed roasted peanuts (unsalted)

½ cup chopped shallot 

150 g palm sugar

1 tbsp soy sauce

For Fried garlic

50 g Garlic

½ cup of oil


• Fried garlic 

• Red chillies

• Fresh cilantro

• Lettuce 


For Fried garlic

1. Making fried garlic by pound garlic and fry in oil until brown. Set aside.

 For the filling

2. In a mortar and pestle grind together the garlic, white peppercorns and coriander root or stems until they form a paste.

3. Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and add the paste from step 2. Stir for a few minutes until fragrant.

4. Add onion and cook until soft.

5. Add pork mince and stir until 80% cooked

6. Add sweet pickled radish and mix well.

7. Add palm sugar and soy sauce.

8. Add crushed peanuts and stir. 

9. Remove from heat and leave the filling to cool down then shape into a small ball.

For the pearl tapioca

10. Wash soak in water for 20 mins. and drain.

11. Wrap the filling with soaked sago. Work very gently and try not to massage the sago or will end up with chewy balls.

12. Steam the balls for 8 minutes and place in a plate coated with oil to prevent the balls sticking to each other.

13. Serve with lettuce, chilli, coriander and top with fried garlic.


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