Pork Bakso Dumplings


An aromatic blend of ground coriander, ginger, and lemongrass pairs with umami-rich fish sauce to season these delicate pork dumplings. "The first thing I think about when I dream of my visits to Indonesia are kaki lima, the multicolored carts selling noodles, snacks, and very often bakso (Indonesian meatballs)," says chef Tom Pisha-Duffly of Gado Gado in Portland, Oregon, one of Food & Wine's Best New Restaurants in 2020. "The loud signs painted on the glass of the cart barely obscure the piles of bouncy meatballs and delicately piled bunches of noodles waiting to be drowned in steaming, aromatic soup. This dish incorporates that feeling in a smaller package, using a wonton skin to mimic the noodle but still paying homage to the springy, funky meatball and its slippery, rich broth."

Pork Bakso Dumplings
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 25 mins


  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced lemongrass (from light end of 1 [2-ounce] stalk) 

  • 2.50 tablespoons fish sauce (such as Squid Brand) 

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • .50 teaspoon black pepper

  • .50 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 pound 80% lean ground pork  

  • 1 large egg white 

  • 2 tablespoons ice water

  • 40 dumpling wrappers 

  • Chile oil, for serving 


  1. Pulse garlic, ginger, and lemongrass in a food processor until finely chopped, about 5 pulses. Add fish sauce, sugar, pepper, and coriander, and pulse until combined, about 5 pulses. Add pork and egg white, and pulse until combined, about 6 pulses, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. With processor running, drizzle in 2 tablespoons ice water. Continue to process until mixture is emulsified and meat is lighter in color, 15 to 20 seconds.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high. Using wet hands, roll 1 tablespoon meat mixture into a ball. Place meatball on a baking sheet; repeat procedure with remaining meat mixture. Using your fingertip, lightly wet edges of 1 dumpling wrapper with water. Place 1 meatball slightly off-center in wrapper. Fold wrapper in half over meat, pressing edges tightly to seal and smoothing out any air pockets. Repeat with remaining wrappers and meatballs.

  3. Place about one-fourth of dumplings in boiling water, and gently stir once. Boil until wrappers look glossy and dumplings float to surface and slightly puff up, about 8 minutes. Repeat 3 times with remaining dumplings.

  4. To serve, place dumplings in a bowl, and drizzle with chile oil. 


Find fresh lemongrass stalks at South Asian markets.

Suggested Pairing

Dry Australian Riesling: Jim Barry The Lodge Hill

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