A sweet-savoury chive filling wrapped in a chewy dough made from tapioca flour makes for a popular Thai street food favourite.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (9 votes)


  • 125 g (4½ oz) rice flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp white glutinous rice flour
  • 160 g (5½ oz) tapioca flour
  • 450 ml (15 fl oz) boiling water
  • 30 ml (1 fl oz) vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing

Chive filling

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) garlic chives, sliced into 1-cm (½-in) lengths
  • 1 tbsp fine sea salt
  • 100 g (3½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 160 ml (5½ fl oz) grapeseed oil

Dipping sauce

  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) dark soy sauce
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) white vinegar
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 100 g (3½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tbsp coarsely pounded red chillies
  • 2 tbsp coarsely pounded garlic cloves

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. First, prepare the chive filling. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and squeeze the chives until they soften. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer with a beater attachment and work the chives on high speed for 2 minutes. Strain the chives through a mesh sieve to remove the liquid and set aside.
  2. To prepare the dipping sauce, heat 200 ml (7 fl oz) water and all the ingredients except the chilli and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat until the salt and sugar dissolve. Set aside to cool.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a beater attachment, combine the rice flours and 100 g (3½ oz) of the tapioca flour. Add the boiling water to the mixture and beat on high speed until the consistency resembles a thick glue and there are no dry lumps of flour left. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. Once the mixture has cooled, add the vegetable oil and the remaining tapioca flour and mix on low speed until the oil has been incorporated into the dough. With the mixer still running, slowly add 45 ml (1½ fl oz) water and continue to mix for 3 minutes, or until the dough is shiny and has no spring to it – pressing your finger into the dough should leave an indentation that doesn’t bounce back.
  5. Pinch off a 2–3 cm (¾–1¼ in) diameter piece of the dough and dust with a little rice flour. On a clean work surface, roll out the piece of dough with a rolling pin until you have a disc 5 mm–1 cm (¼–½ in) thick and 7 cm (2¾ in) in diameter.
  6. Place 1 heaped tablespoon of chive filling in the centre of the disc and gather the edges together so that you have a round parcel. Pinch to seal and repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  7. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Place the chive cakes in the bottom of a large bamboo steamer lined with baking paper or a plastic steaming sheet, leaving space between each one. Steam for 5 minutes, then brush the top of each cake with a little vegetable oil. Finally, add the chilli and garlic to the dipping sauce and serve with the warm chive cakes.


Recipe and images from Bangkok Local by Sareen Rojanametin and Jean Thamthanakorn, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99