1 pound ground pork
3 tablespoons palm sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 cup ground roasted peanuts
1 pound bag tapioca pearls (small size)
1/2 cup hot water
1. To make the filling, combine ground pork, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Preheat a wok over medium-high heat and add the pork mixture. Stir-fry until the pork crumbles into small pieces, about 5 minutes. Add onion, cilantro, light soy, black soy, white pepper, fish sauce, and ground peanuts. Stir-fry for 10 minutes (the filling will get thicker and turn dark brown). Remove from heat, drain in a colander, and allow to cool.
2. To make the tapioca dough, rinse tapioca pearls in cold water, drain thoroughly, and place in a bowl. Pour hot water over the tapioca pearls, a little at a time. Gently knead the pearls for 5 minutes to ensure that they’re all covered with water and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
3. Make a ball of tapioca pearls (approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons), flatten on your palm and place 1 heaping teaspoon of the pork mixture in the center. Seal the ball so the pork is totally covered with tapioca (will make approximately 25 balls).
4. Get water boiling in a steamer and lay sheets of wax paper on the rack (or brush the rack with oil) to prevent sticking. Place the balls on the rack and steam covered for 15 minutes, or until the balls turn translucent. Remove from steamer, place on a serving platter and drizzle with fried garlic (see opposite). Serve with lettuce leaves, green onion, cilantro, and Thai chilies.
Yield: 8 servings