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Cilok - Tapioca Dough in Peanut Sauce

These savory boiled tapioca dough/balls are sold by street-food sellers throughout Indonesia, and they come with delicious spicy peanut sauce.

Cilok is an Indonesian snack made with a blend of all purpose flour and tapioca flour, ground toasted dried shrimp, thinly sliced scallions, grated garlic, and season with salt, sugar, and ground white pepper. Water is then added to this mixture and kneaded until the point where it can be gathered into a ball. When you reach this point, the dough is ready, and you can start making 1 inch balls from this dough. The balls can be cooked by boiling in a pot of water or by deep frying in hot oil. Both versions are enjoyed with peanut sauce.

Cilok Rebus - Boiled Skewered Dough in Peanut Sauce
Cilok Rebus - Boiled Skewered Dough in Peanut Sauce

Boiled cilok is more widely known than the fried one. If you are to buy this off the street, it is almost guaranteed you get the boiled version. I think the fried ones are really nice, and they look pretty nice as finger food, no? :)

Cilok Goreng - Fried Dough in Peanut Sauce
Cilok Goreng - Fried Dough in Peanut Sauce

If you look at the ingredients list, there is no denying that cilok is lacking in the nutrition department, but it sure is pretty tasty. One can say that cilok is a poor man version of bakso (meatball), since it is nothing more than cooked spiced dough. Still, this snack with a humble beginning is now part of our rich culinary heritage. ♥

Cilok - Tapioca Dough in Peanut Sauce

5.0 from 2 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe


  • Cilok
  • 100 gram all purpose flour (Indonesian: tepung terigu)
  • 100 gram tapioca flour (Indonesian: tepung tapioka)
  • 2-3 scallions (Indonesian: daun bawang), thinly sliced
  • 1.5-2 tablespoon dried shrimps (Indonesian: ebi), toasted and ground
  • 3 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih), grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 200 ml warm water
  • You may need
  • bamboo skewers
  • toothpicks
  • Peanut sauce
  • 100 gram roasted peanut (Indonesian: kacang tanah sangrai)
  • 1 clove garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 3-5 red chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting)
  • 25 gram palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
  • 100 ml hot water


  • Cilok
    1. Combine all purpose flour, tapioca flour, scallions, dried shrimps, garlic, salt, sugar, and ground white pepper in a mixing bowl.
    2. Pour water in batches and work into the dough until no longer sticky, you may not need to use all the water. If you end up with a runny dough, you can fix it by adding equal amount of all purpose flour and tapioca flour. Shape into 1 inch balls and set aside.
    3. For boiled cilok: Bring a pot of water to boil. Gently drop the balls into the boiling water and cook until they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon. It is traditional to skewer about 3 to 4 balls per bamboo skewer. Serve immediately with peanut sauce.
    4. For fried cilok: Deep fry the balls in hot oil until crispy and golden brown. Remove from hot oil and serve immediately with peanut sauce.
  • Peanut sauce
    1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and sauté garlic and chilies until fragrant and cooked, about 3 minutes.
    2. In a food processor, grind together peanut, garlic, and chili into a fine paste. Transfer this into a bowl.
    3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together to make the peanut sauce.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Yi @ Yi Reservation Yi @ Yi Reservation says:

    I almost thought these were HK style fish balls. I don't think I"ve ever had the tapioca balls prepared this way but they look fantastic. I am drooling even thinking about the peanut sauce covered fried dough balls! Great post!

  • haris haris says:

    So it is a healthy version of cilok without royco or knorr? 5 stars, and surely it will be recooked and reblogged. thanks for recipe.

  • Milky Milky says:

    I'd been dying to make this, but having some trouble finding dried shrimp. I finally scored a packet of powdered dried shrimps in a well-stocked Mexican section. I feel like this snack might seem... yeah, like a sad substitute for bakso. It's similar to eating ddeokpoki (another super-starchy snack in a spicy flavorful sauce) but unlike the Korean rice cake, these little cilok balls are loaded with flavor. And I'm a big sauce fan, so any vehicle for slurping up spicy peanut sauce is a big win. And, as to be expected, the chewyness was also very satisfying. I was unaware of this snack before finding it here, and I'm convinced it's a hidden gem.

    Of course I can't review without being explicit about any changes I made. For one, I used about 1 tablespoon pre-powdered shrimp, so I think I missed out on the extra flavor from toasting (not like it's hard to toast powder, I was just lazy). I also used cups to measure: 1/2 c + extra of each tapioca and flour. The balls stuck to the bottom of my pan, so I had to make sure they were dislodged so they could float. The bigger balls didn't cook as well, and since I do tend to make things too big, would suggest keeping them moderately small.

    The sauce suffered far more substitutions, since I was not in the mood to clean the food processor! I just measured out peanut butter, and used a glob of pre-made chili garlic sauce. Everything else was roughly the same. Personally, I was satisfied, but I'm sure it won't convince anyone looking to recreate their hometown street vendor. Can't miss what you've never had, eh? Personally, I can see myself making this sauce again for other snacks or noodles.

    I just boiled mine and they came out delicious... I bet deep-frying would be magnificent. They're a cinch to whip-up, and easy enough for young/inexperienced cooks. Personally, I think any food on a stick is a winner (I just ate mine with a toothpick) and this is a great recreation of the 'street food experience'.

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