You can substitute store-bought gow gee wrappers for this recipe if you don't want to make the dumpling skins. In Pontianak, a thin, vinegary chilli sauce is served with the dumplings.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (24 votes)


  • 240 g wheat starch (see Note)
  • 140 g tapioca flour (see Note)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • chilli sauce and kecap manis, to serve


Chive filling

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
  • 400 g garlic chives (see Note), washed, chopped
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce


Yam filling

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 30 g (⅓ cup) dried shrimp (see Note), soaked in boiling water, drained, finely chopped
  • 700 g yicama (yam bean) (see Note), peeled, grated
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce


Garlic oil

  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled, very finely chopped
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) vegetable oil 

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.


Standing time 1 hour 

To make garlic oil, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden but not burnt. Remove from heat and set aside. The garlic keeps cooking in the hot oil for a while after removing, so it’s important to remove from heat while still light golden.

To make chive filling, trim the lower 10 cm from the base of the chives and discard. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat, add garlic and chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until garlic is softened. Add garlic chives, sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until chives are just wilted but still bright green. Remove from heat and stir through soy sauce. Transfer to a colander to drain any excess liquid and set aside to cool, when cool enough to handle, gently squeeze to remove any remaining excess liquid.

To make yam filling, heat oil over medium-high heat, add garlic and shrimps and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until shrimps are fragrant and garlic is light golden. Add yam, sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 60 ml (¼ cup) water and cook, stirring, for 5-10 minutes or until softened and liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir through soy sauce. Transfer to a colander to drain any excess liquid and set aside to cool.

Combine wheat starch, tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Working quickly, make a well in the centre and gradually add 500 ml (2 cups) boiling water and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and stand for 10 minutes.

Add oil and knead until dough becomes smooth and elastic. The dough will still be quite hot at this point. Divide dough in equal quarters and roll each piece out on a lightly floured work surface into a 22 cm-long log. Cut each log into 11 equal pieces, then roll into balls.

To assemble dumplings, flatten each ball between lightly floured palms, then roll into a thin, 11 cm rounds using a small rolling pin. Place a tablespoonful of one filling in the centre, then dampen edges lightly with cold water. Fold in half to enclose filling, pleat edges and press to seal. Place on a sheet of baking paper or a lightly greased banana leaf. Repeat with remaining filling and dough to make 44 dumplings, 22 of each filling.

Working in batches, place dumplings on a perforated banana leaf or baking paper in a steamer set over a saucepan of boiling water, cover and cook for 8 minutes or until dumpling skin has become slightly translucent. Transfer dumplings, still on banana leaf or paper, to a plate, and brush with garlic oil, placing a small amount of fried garlic on top of each dumpling. Serve with chilli sauce and kecap manis.


• Wheat starch, tapioca flour, dried shrimps, yams and garlic chives are available from Asian food shops and select greengrocers.


Read more about Indonesian street snacks: Culinary postcard: Pontianak, Indonesia


Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food styling and preparation by Alice Storey. Food preparation by Georgi Larby.