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Siomay Bandung

Indonesian steamed fish dumplings stuffed in bitter melon and tofu, potatoes, cabbages, and hard-boiled eggs, served with peanut sauce, kecap manis, and lime juice.

Siomay Bandung is one of my favorite Indonesian street food. I grew up eating plenty of these delicious fish dumplings, especially during my junior and senior high school years in Jakarta. My school was lucky to have a siomay Bandung hawker parking his food cart right in front of the school gate. I would order a plate with everything in it whenever I was hungry. 😁

Siomay Bandung - Steamed Fish Dumplings in Peanut Sauce

Siomay Bandung - Steamed Fish Dumplings in Peanut Sauce

What is Siomay Bandung?

Siomay Bandung is Indonesian steamed fish dumplings served in peanut sauce. Originated from the city of Bandung in West Java, these dumplings are an evolution of Chinese pork shumai. Unlike its dim sum inspiration, siomay Bandung is served as a complete meal with an assortment of vegetables and peanut sauce.

Most Indonesians are familiar with these fish dumplings since siomay Bandung sellers commonly park their food carts in front of schools and universities. During school recess, you can witness a line of hungry students queueing for some delicious fish dumplings.

What can you find in a typical siomay Bandung dish?

A plate of siomay Bandung comes with fish dumplings, cabbage, potatoes, bitter melon, hard-boiled eggs, and tofu. The fish dumplings come in round balls and also stuffed in bitter melon and tofu. The seller cut these into bite-size pieces and douse them with plenty of peanut sauce, sweet soy sauce, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Fish paste for the fish dumplings

We need Spanish mackerel fillet, egg, tapioca flour/starch, egg, scallion, sesame oil, salt, sugar, and pepper to prepare the fish cake for the dumplings.

Pulse Spanish mackerel fillet in a food processor, then mix it with the remaining fish paste ingredients.

Spanish mackerel

Premium fish dumplings will only use 100% Spanish mackerel. A slightly less premium choice will use 50% Spanish mackerel and 50% prawns. For the cheapest option, people go with 40% Spanish mackerel, 30% prawns, and 30% chicken.

Tuna is a common substitute when Spanish mackerel is not available.

Using the fish paste to prepare fish dumplings

We will use the fish paste to create plain fish dumpling balls, stuffed bitter melon, and stuffed tofu.

  • Stuffed bitter melon: Cut bitter melon into 2-inch rounds, scoop out the fibrous center, and stuff with fish paste.
  • Stuffed tofu: Cut a 1-pound block of firm/extra-firm tofu into four rectangles, and each into two triangles. Scoop out the middle part of the tofu, mix it with an equal amount of fish paste, and stuff the mixture back into the hollowed-out tofu triangles.
  • Plain fish dumpling balls: Shape the remaining fish paste into round balls. I use a medium-size cookie or about 1 12 tablespoon of fish paste per fish ball.
Siomay Bandung - Steamed Fish Dumplings in Peanut Sauce

Siomay Bandung - Steamed Fish Dumplings in Peanut Sauce

How to cook and serve siomay Bandung

1. Steam fish dumplings and vegetables

Once all three different fish dumplings are ready, proceed with peeling and cutting potatoes into wedges, and coring and chopping cabbage into big chunks.

Prepare a steamer over medium heat. Line the steam basket with parchment paper or cabbage leaves so nothing sticks on it. Arrange fish dumplings, potato wedges, and cabbage chunks in a steamer basket. Steam for 10-15 minutes or until everything is cook and a toothpick comes out clean when you stick it in the dumplings.

2. Prepare peanut sauce

We need dry roasted peanuts, garlic, red chilies, sugar, and salt for the peanut sauce. You can use unsalted dry roasted peanuts, or start from raw shelled peanuts and toast in a frying pan or an oven.

Toast garlic and chilies in a frying pan over medium heat without any oil until slightly charred and very fragrant. Grind peanuts, garlic, and chilies in a food processor. Transfer peanut mixture to a bowl and season it with salt and sugar. Add enough hot water to the peanut mixture to make a thick paste.

3. Serve siomay Bandung

Serve one to two plain fish dumplings, stuffed bitter melon, stuffed tofu, steamed potatoes, steamed cabbages, and one hard-boiled egg per person. Cut each of these items into bite-size pieces. Pour peanut sauce, sweet soy sauce, and a wedge of fresh lime. Let people squeeze the lime and stir everything together right before enjoying it.

Siomay Bandung

5.0 from 6 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 3 hours

Serves: 8

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • Fish paste
  • 300 gram Spanish mackerel (Indonesian: ikan tenggiri) fillet
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 50 gram tapioca flour/starch
  • 100 ml water
  • Siomay (fish dumplings)
  • 2 bitter melon
  • 1 block / 450 gram / 1 lb firm or extra-firm tofu
  • Accompaniments
  • 4 / 600 gram / 20 oz potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 / 900 gram / 2 lb cabbage, cored and cut into chunks
  • 8 hard-boiled eggs
  • 8 kaffir limes (Indonesian: jeruk purut), or 2 regular limes cut into a total of 8 wedges
  • sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
  • Peanut Sauce
  • 300 gram dry roasted peanut
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 5-15 red chilies such as Fresno, cayenne, or bird-eye chilies
  • 2 tablespoon coconut palm sugar/regular sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • enough hot water to make a thick peanut sauce

Instructions

  • Fish paste
    1. Pulse Spanish mackerel fillet in a food processor, then mix it with the remaining fish paste ingredients.
  • Siomay (fish dumplings)
    1. Stuffed bitter melon: Cut bitter melon into 2-inch rounds, scoop out the fibrous center, and stuff with fish paste.
    2. Stuffed tofu: Cut a block of firm/extra-firm tofu into four rectangles, and each into two triangles. Scoop out the middle part of the tofu, mix it with an equal amount of fish paste, and stuff the mixture back into the hollowed-out tofu triangles.
    3. Plain fish dumplings: Shape the remaining fish paste into round balls. I use a medium-size cookie or about 1 1⁄2 tablespoon of fish paste per fish ball.
    4. Steam siomay: Prepare a steamer over medium heat. Line the steam basket with parchment paper or cabbage leaves so nothing sticks on it. Arrange fish dumplings, potato wedges, and cabbage chunks in a steamer basket. Steam for 10-15 minutes or until everything is cook and a toothpick comes out clean when you stick it in the dumplings.
  • Peanut sauce
    1. Toast garlic and chilies in a frying pan over medium heat without any oil until slightly charred and very fragrant.
    2. Grind peanuts, garlic, and chilies in a food processor. Transfer peanut mixture to a bowl and season it with salt and sugar.
    3. Add enough hot water to the peanut mixture to make a thick paste. Start with 1/4 cup of hot water and add more until the peanut sauce is thick but pourable.
  • To serve
    1. Serve one to two plain fish dumplings, stuffed bitter melon, stuffed tofu, steamed potatoes, steamed cabbages, and one hard-boiled egg per person. Cut each of these items into bite-size pieces.
    2. Pour about 1/2 cup of peanut sauce, 2 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce, and a wedge of fresh lime. Let people squeeze the lime and stir everything together right before enjoying it.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • Theodorus Tedja Sendjaya Theodorus Tedja Sendjaya says:

    I like your recipes, very help full

  • Jo Tjoa Jo Tjoa says:

    Hi Anita, I came across your site and I LOVE it. It's so beautifully done. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. I have copied some of your recipes and can't wait to try it. I'm from Sydney and we have big community of Indonesian here so finding Indonesians ingredients are not exceptionally difficult. Thanks for this site. Big HELLO from Sydney Jo

    • Anita Anita says:

      Awww, thank you so much for the lovely comments Jo. :) You make me so jealous now since it can be quite a challenge to hunt down some of the more obscure Indonesian ingredients. :D

  • Li Li says:

    Hi Anita, do we need to add water when making the peanut sauce?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Li, yes you will need to add some hot water to the ground peanut, garlic, and chili. Start with 1/4 cup of hot water first, and add more to get to your desired thickness.

  • Erika Erika says:

    I've never cooked with Spanish mackerel, but I can't wait to give your recipe a try. Pinning for later!

  • ali randall ali randall says:

    What a delicious recipe. We love steamed fish cakes and think the peanut sauce is so tasty that I will double that part in the future. Delicious!

  • Emily Liao Emily Liao says:

    These fish cakes were so delicious! And it was fairly easy to make.

  • Cyndy Cyndy says:

    Oh my gosh - yum! I ate so many of these when I was in Indonesia. I didn't know that the fish inside was mackerel, and I think that's why it has such a distinctive taste.

  • Anjali  Anjali says:

    I love all of the flavors in this dish!! And the peanut sauce for dipping turned out to be so good!

  • Lany Susanto Lany Susanto says:

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