Sakoo Sai Moo & Beef Larb

Sakoo sai moo are delicious, spicy little pork-filled tapioca dumplings; my best friend thought they were fabulous and has been wanting me to make them again. For now she’ll have to settle for my recipe, until I get the chance to break out my steaming basket!

For the fresh rolls, soak rice paper in water until soft and fill with your choice of cooked meats or tofu and fresh, raw veggies and herbs. Here, I used matchstick-cut carrots and cucumbers, fresh basil, and cooked shrimp. Fold the ends over and roll it up like a burrito or an egg roll. Put a little grated ginger into soy sauce for a quick dipping sauce. Fast, simple and delicious!


Sakoo Sai Moo

  • 1 1/2 c pearl tapioca
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb lean ground pork
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh hot chiles
  • 3 tbsp crushed roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • Tapioca flour (CRITICAL!)

Rinse pearl tapioca in a fine strainer, drain and transfer to a bowl. Dissolve salt in hot water and gradually add to the tapioca, mixing well. Cover and leave for 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat the oil in a wok over medium, cook onion until soft. Stir in brown sugar, pepper and cilantro. Remove from heat. In a bowl, mix together with the pork, and add fish sauce, chilis and peanuts.

Using your fingers, roll the pearl tapioca into 1 inch balls with damp hands. Cover with a damp cloth. Wash and dry your hands and dust them with tapioca flour. Press thumb or finger into each ball to form a cup shape. Put in a teaspoon of pork mixture and seal the tapioca over the filling. Mold into balls again and cover with damp cloth until ready to cook.

Place the balls on oiled parchment paper in a stacked steamer, leaving 1/2 inch between each, or they will stick together. Steam over fast boiling water until the tapioca is completely clear, about 20 minutes. Remove the steamer from the heat and leave for 5 minutes for the balls to dry slightly before serving.

Beef Larb

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4-1/2 c lime juice
  • 2-6 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp dried ginger
  • 6 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 15 mint leaves

Combine beef with lime juice, fish sauce, ginger and shallots. Heat a skillet or wok and cook meat until no longer pink. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, scallion, cilantro, and chili powder. Mix to combine well. Serve on your favorite lettuce. (Mine is butter lettuce, also known as Boston or Bibb, because it has a better crunch than Romaine but it’s not all water like Iceburg.)

Fia Marquis

Fia Marquis is a home cook who enjoys gardening, creating recipes, collecting vintage Pyrex, cooking for herself and her husband, and trying to keep up with their toddler and three cats.

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