Learn how to make these popular Indonesian fried dumplings made with fish or meat paste stuffed inside tofu and wonton skin and served with peanut sauce.
BATAGOR – BAKSO TAHU GORENG
Many of the words in Indonesia are being abbreviated, for example batagor is not a “real” word on its own. It is an abbreviation from Ba for Bakso (meatballs), Ta for Tahu (tofu), Gor for goreng (deep-fried). Batagor is a popular street food in the city of Bandung in West Java. But batagor can be easily found across Indonesia these days. My first exposure to batagor was in fact in Jakarta. Batagor is said to be an adaptation of the Chinese Indonesian Siu Mai. Tofu and wonton skins are usually stuffed with fish or meat paste and then steamed and coat with batter and deep-fried and then drenched in peanut sauce, drizzle of kecap manis, and spicy sambal sauce sometimes.
RATIO OF TAPIOCA FLOUR TO MEAT/FISH PASTE
I prefer homemade batagor because I have control over the ratio of how much tapioca flour to add. Most batagor sellers will add more flour and little meat/fish paste inside because it helps to reduce cost too. Too much tapioca flour makes the batagor tastes too chewy and you can barely taste the meat/fish paste inside. I use ratio of 3:1 for the meat/fish paste and tapioca flour.
BATAGOR IKAN OR BATAGOR AYAM
Batagor is more commonly made with tofu or siomay stuffed with fish paste, Spanish mackerel to be specific. But it is not uncommon to see batagor made with ground chicken meat, like in this recipe. You can use either one. It’s not easy for me to find Spanish mackerel here and so I just resorted to using ground chicken meat instead
HOW TO MAKE BATAGOR
1. Ground the peanuts with garlic
2. Transfer the ground peanuts into a saucepan along with the rest of the ingredients for the peanut sauce and let it cook until thicken slightly
3. Cut the tofu and scoop out the middle
4. Prepare the meat/fish paste
Add the tofu you scooped out earlier into the meat/fish paste and then mix until the mixture is sticky and pasty
5. Stuff the tofu and wonton skin with meat/fish paste
6. Steam the tofu and siomay in the steamer for 20 minutes or until cooked through
7. Let them cool down for at least 15 minutes and then coat in batter and fry until golden brown and crispy
8. Cut into smaller pieces
11. Serve with peanut sauce, lime juice, kecap manis and sambal if you want it spicy
FOR HEALTHIER BATAGOR
Traditionally, the batagor is steamed and then coat in batter and fried until crispy. If you don’t want any deep-frying, definitely you can just steam the batagor and then serve with the peanut sauce, lime juice, kecap manis, and sambal.
I use my Crispy Batter that Stays Crispy recipe to fry the batagor.
Batagor (Fried Dumplings with Peanut Sauce)
- 14 oz 396 gr extra firm tofu
- 15 -20 wonton wrappers
- 1 recipe for crispy batter
- Cooking oil for deep frying
- 300 gr ground chicken meat or fish paste
- 100 gr tapioca flour
- 1 large egg
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp white pepper powder
- 200 gr roasted unsalted peanuts
- 4 cloves garlic
- 150 gr palm sugar Start with 75 grams of sugar and adjust to your preference
- 1 tsp salt
- 250 ml water
- Juice of 1 lime
Prepare peanut sauce:
- Ground the peanuts and garlic in the food processor. Transfer into a saucepan and add in the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer for another 15 minutes. Let it cool down and can be stored in a jar and kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week
Prepare the tofu:
- Cut the tofu into 8 pieces. Scoop out the middle (as shown in the photo above). Finely chop the tofu that you scoop out so you can mix this with the meat/fish paste later (no waste)
Prepare meat/fish paste:
- Place the meat/fish paste, tofu that you scoop out earlier and the rest of the ingredients for meat paste in a large bowl. Mix until the mixture forms a paste and sticky
Adjust the taste of the meat/fish paste:
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Scoop a small portion of the meat/fish paste and boil in the water until cooked through. Have a taste. Add more salt and/or sugar to your meat/fish paste if necessary
Stuff the tofu and wonton skins:
- Scoop the meat/fish paste into the hole you create on the tofu earlier. Make sure you pack the meat in. Place one scoop of meat/fish paste in the middle of the wonton skin and then gather the sides and gently pinch to seal on top. Repeat with the rest
- Bring the water in the steamer to a boil. Arrange the tofu and siomay on a plate and steam for the next 20 minutes or until the meat/fish paste is cooked through. Remove from the steamer and let them cool down for at least 15 minutes before deep-frying
- Preheat enough oil for deep frying. Coat each piece of tofu and siomay with the batter and then fry until crispy and golden brown all over. Remove and place on absorbent paper towel and keep them warm in the oven
- Cut the fried tofu into smaller pieces. You can leave the siomay whole, or cut them in half too, it's up to you. Topped with the peanut sauce, a drizzle of kecap manis, your favorite Indonesian sambal (like sambal ABC for example), and squeeze of fresh lime juice. Tuck in!
Oh MY, it looks great! Can’t wait to cook em this Sunday!
I hope you like it 🙂
It was my first time trying to make it and it was really good. However, the peanut sauce was very sweet. Is it correct that it’s supposed to be 150gr and not less? Just wanted to double check when I make it again next time
Hi Edy, you can definitely cut down on the sugar, but yes around 100-150 grams of sugar for that amount of peanut is pretty common for batagor peanut sauce. Feel free to adjust to your preference.
Just tried this today. It is really good. I love your crispy batter too!
Hi Jenn, I’m really glad you like it 🙂
I’m so glad I came across your website! I tried this recipe a couple of days ago after craving batagor for over a month (the only Indo restaurant I know that sells batagor is way across town, not good in times of covid), and it was so so delicious. I don’t want to eat them all in one sitting so I’m storing some of it in the freezer. I can’t believe how crunchy it was too thanks to the batter, which will now be my go-to batter for deep-frying! I’m definitely saving some of your recipes too to cure a bit of my homesickness.
Hi Malinda, so glad you like the Batagaor. I’ve been craving it too lately. I think it’s my turn to make them again 🙂 Great idea to freeze them too, you can have them whenever you want 🙂
Hi there. Good to see a familiar dish – as a kid I grew up in Bandung and Jakarta. FYI in Bandung the batagor are never coated in flour after steaming, they’re deep fried straight after steaming. The version in your recipe is the Jakarta version, called “gorengan”. There are something like that in Bandung, with the stuffings include beansprouts, can’t remember what’s the name.
Hi Helen, you mean tahu isi ?
Oops you did it again:) The peanut sauce alone is worthy of the utmost admiration – I tell you this is coming to my house asap! But the batagor bites are simply incredible. I can only imagine the flavors (but not for long, because I WILL be making them). Love that you can make your own fish/meat paste and stuff tofu with it. Very impressive to me:) And also love that you stuff the wontons, and then you steam and then you batter and fry! All the layers of flavor and texture…Incredible, I am in love!
I am drooling over this recipe. I’ve never had this before but the flavors sound amazing. And ti looks pretty easy to make. Can’t wait to try it!