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Siomay (Indonesian Steamed Dumpling in Peanut Sauce)

Posting Date: 03/05/17

Siomay (Indonesian Steamed Dumpling in Peanut Sauce)

Siomay (Indonesian Steamed Dumpling in Peanut Sauce) was influenced by Chinese Shumai and hence, the name Siomay. There are 2 types of Siomay in Indonesia, the Chinese style and Indonesian style. The Chinese style looks exactly like Shumai from China with the meat inside the wrapper. It is normally served with sweet and sour sauce on the side. You can normally find the Chinese style in Chinese restaurants. Some street vendors in Jakarta, normally at Chinatown area in Glodok, also sell them. The Indonesian style's Siomay is served in peanut sauce. The components of the siomay are boiled or steamed potato, steamed cabbage with or without the stuffed meat, egg, steamed tofu stuffed with the meat, steamed bitter mellon stuffed with the meat, and steamed meatball. The Indonesian style siomay is mostly sold by street vendors but it can also be found in some Indonesian restaurants. My recipe is based on the Indonesian style. The meat in siomay can be chicken, shrimp, or fish. Siomay Bandung is very famous in Indonesia and the meat used in Siomay Bandung is always fish. In my recipe, I use chicken and shrimp. You can substitute chicken and shrimp with fish and it will become Siomay Bandung. As mentioned, Indonesian style's siomay is served in peanut sauce. It is then drizzled with sweet soy sauce and some people may drizzle ketchup on top of it. Lime wedges are served on the side. You will then mix the sauce up with the sweet soy sauce, ketchup, and the juice of the lime. The resulting sauce tastes sweet, slightly tart, salty, and peanuty. The peanut sauce is made of garlic, sugar, chili pepper, and vinegar. This dish is considered more as full meal in Indonesia.

One of the ingredients is chayote. When I first made it, I didn't use it. This made the siomay dry. So, I searched the internet to solve this issue. Apparently, some people use chayote to solve it. Chayote is tasteless but it adds the texture needed to make siomay soft and not dry. Since it is tasteless, it doesn't affect the flavor of siomay and that's the reason why it is used. You can find chayote in Asian stores. Nowadays Walmart and some regular grocery stores also sell it. If there is a Mexican store in your area, you can find it there, too. One thing that is different from 1 siomay vendor to another is the chewiness of the dumpling. Some are chewier and some people prefer it that way. To achieve chewier dumpling, you can use more tapioca flour. I make the siomay less chewier and thus, you will have to put more tapioca flour if you like very chewy siomay.

This recipe serves 3-4 people.


  • For peanut sauce: 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • For peanut sauce: 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • For peanut sauce: 1 teaspoon sambal oelek or to taste. You may also use 1 red chili pepper or more according to your tolerance to heat.
  • For peanut sauce: 1 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts or 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • For peanut sauce: 2.5 teaspoon sugar or to taste
  • For peanut sauce: 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • For peanut sauce: 12 tablespoons boiling water or more to achieve the consistency you want
  • For peanut sauce: 1/4 teaspoon vinegar or to taste
  • 1 cup of ice cubes
  • 10 cabbage leaves
  • For meat mixture: 1 chayote , peeled and diced with the seeds removed. Chayote makes dumpling soft and not dry and hard. Since it is tasteless, it is good for this purpose. So, if you can find it in your store, use it.
  • For meat mixture: 1 skinless boneless chicken breast or 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs, diced. They will be processed in food processor. Instead of chicken, you can use fish.
  • For meat mixture: 15 XL size shrimp, about 250g, roughly chopped. They will be processed in food processor.
  • For meat mixture: 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped. They will be processed in food processor.
  • For meat mixture: 1 green onion, roughly chopped. They will be processed in food processor.
  • For meat mixture: 1 large egg
  • For meat mixture: 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • For meat mixture: 1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
  • For meat mixture: 1 teaspoon sesame oil or to taste
  • For meat mixture: 1/2 cup tapioca flour or starch or to taste. More tapioca flour makes siomay chewier.
  • 1 10 oz firm tofu, diced into 1.75" cubes
  • Optional: 1 bitter melon, peeled, sliced into 1/2" thick, and seeds removed
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced lengthwise
  • sweet soy sauce
  • Optional: ketchup
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges


  1. Drop 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil on a small pan and place the pan on the stove. Turn on the stove to medium high. Add garlic and sambal oelek to the pan. Saute it until the garlic becomes fragrant. Turn off the stove and remove the pan from heat.
  2. Place peanuts or peanut butter in a food processor. Pulse the food processor so that peanuts are finely ground. Add garlic and sambal oelek mixture, sugar, and salt into the food processor. Pulse the food processor until garlic has been chopped up finely. Add boiling water and vinegar into food processor. Pulse the food processor until the sauce becomes smooth. You can add more water if the peanut sauce is still very thick. You want the peanut sauce to be somewhere in between thick and runny. Taste the peanut sauce and add more sambal oelek, salt, sugar, or vinegar if needed.
  3. Place the peanut sauce in a bowl.
  4. Place ice cubes in a big bowl. Fill up the bowl with water.
  5. Fill up the pot with water, place the pot on the stove, and turn on the stove. Once the water is boiling, put the cabbage leaves in the pot for about 10 sec. This is to make it softer so that it is easier to wrap the meat mixture inside it. Drain the water. Place cabbage leaves in the ice cubes bowl to stop the cooking process.
  6. Fill a pot with water and place diced chayote in the pot. Boil diced chayote until it is cooked. To know if it is cooked or not, insert a knife in it. If it can go in without resistance, it is cooked. Turn off the stove. Drain the water and let diced chayote to cool down.
  7. Put chicken, shrimp, garlic, green onion, and chayote in food processor. Process in food processor until they become smooth.
  8. Crack an egg in a bowl big enough to fit the ground meat mixture. Beat the egg. Add ground meat mixture, salt, pepper, sesame oil, and tapioca flour to the bowl. Using rubber spatula, mix the ingredients until well combined.
  9. Using a knife or spoon, remove some of the tofu on the center so that you can stuff the meat mixture inside tofu. I normally use a knife and make a triangle cut on the center to start. After removing that triangle, I use the knife again (or you can use a spoon) to remove more tofu until you have a cube shaped hole inside it. Place the tofu taken away from the center in a bowl. Take about 2 tablespoons of meat mixture and mix it with the tofu in the bowl. Stuff the tofu meat mixture inside tofu. Repeat this step for the remaining diced tofu.
  10. If using bitter melon, stuff the center hole with the meat mixture.
  11. Take 1 cabbage leave and put about 1.5 tablespoon of meat mixture on the center. Wrap the meat with the cabbage leave so that it is fully covered. The amount of meat mixture to put in the cabbage leave is dependent on how big the leave is. If it is smaller size, you can put less or you can use 2 leaves so that the meat mixture will be fully wrapped inside the leaves. Repeat this step until all leaves have been used.
  12. Fill up your steamer with water. Place the steamer on the stove and turn the stove on. Put the lid on.
  13. While waiting for the water in the steamer to boil, take about 2.5 tablespoons of meat mixture and form it into a ball. Place it on a plate. Repeat this step until all remaining meat mixture has been used up.
  14. Once the water in the steamer is boiling, place stuffed cabbage leaves, meat mixture balls, stuffed tofu, and stuffed bitter melon on the steamer basket. When you put them on the steamer basket, give a little space in between each one of them so that it will be easier to remove them after cooking and the meat mixture ball won't stick to each other. If your steamer basket is small, you may need to do these in several batches. Remove steamer lid, put the steamer basket on top of the steamer, and place the lid on top of steamer basket. Steam the dumplings until they are cooked (about 20-25 min). Once cooked, remove the steamer basket, take the dumplings out of the steamer basket, and place them on a plate. Repeat this step if you still have left over uncooked dumplings. Make sure the steamer still has enough water and the water is boiling before you put the steamer basket back to steam remaining uncooked dumplings. Turn off the stove once all of them have been cooked.
  15. While waiting for the dumplings to finish steaming, fill up a pot with water and place diced potato in the pot. Turn on the stove. Once the potato is cooked, turn off the stove and drain the water. Place the potato on a plate along with the cooked dumplings.
  16. Divide the dumplings, sliced hard boiled eggs, and diced cooked potato into 3-4 individual plates. Spoon the peanut sauce on top of the dumplings. Drizzle sweet soy sauce and ketchup (if used) on top of the dumplings. Serve it with the lime wedges on the side. To test if you have enough sweet soy sauce and ketchup, mix the dumplings, peanut sauce, sweet soy sauce, and ketchup well. Taste it and add more sweet soy sauce and ketchup if needed. Some people like it sweet, so they put more sweet soy sauce.


  • To test if the seasonings for the meat mixture is enough or not, you can take 1 tablespoon of meat mixture and steam it in the steamer until it is fully cooked (about 20-25 min) before you start working on the remaining meat mixture. Taste the cooked dumpling and add more seasonings if needed.

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