These chewy balls are a part of my childhood snack. If Korea has tteokkochi (ddeokkochi) or tteokbokki (ddeokbokki), Indonesia has cilok or pentol.

Different place different name! In East Java, these chewy balls are known as Pentol. Moved to west part of Java, I've known these balls as Cilok (Aci Dicolok). Aci means tapioca while dicolok mean to be plugged. In East Java, people call kanji for aci.

Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian or meat lover, this snack is pretty easy to be adapted. If you like making them into vegan, just omit the dried shrimp that I added. If you love ground fish meat or beef or minced chicken, you can always combine with it. Some people also like to recreate these chewy balls by filling in with meat floss (abon), cheese or ground meat.

There are two choices of sauce to eat cilok with: 

  1. pecel sambal or peanut sauce
  2. a combination of hot sauce, ketchup and kecap manis

My favourite sauce for these balls is always the peanuty one. To make peanut sauce, you can use my pecel sambal or siomay/batagor peanut sauce recipe or making it from a mixture of crunchy peanut butter, mashed garlic, chopped kaffir lime leaves and chilies, grated roasted candlenuts, salt, coconut/palm sugar, canesugar vinegar and hot water.

The original recipe of cilok/pentol uses tapioca flour for making the balls chewy. As tapioca flour is cheaper flour than arrowroot flour (tepung garut). However, I only had arrowroot flour in my pantry.

350 grams unbleach all purpose flour
250 grams arrowroot starch (can be substituted for tapioca flour or sago flour)
3 cloves garlic, roasted*
2 tablespoons ground dried shrimp (ebi)**
1 tablespoon chopped Chinese celery
kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon minced Chinese chives (can be substituted for green onion)
400 milliliter hot water


  1. In a bowl, use a spoon and mash roasted garlic until smooth. I like using roasted garlic since I don't need to grate them.
  3. Stir in all purpose flour, ground dried shrimp, salt, ground white pepper, Chinese celery and chives. Mix well.
  5. Add hot water. Mix well. Add in arrowroot flour and knead the mixture with your another hand.
  7. In a big pot, heat some water (don't let the water boil, about 80 degrees C)
  9. Scoop about 1 teaspoons, make round balls. Drop the balls in hot water. Cook until the balls are floating and continue cooking for another 10 minutes
  11. Serve with pecel sambal or your favourite peanut sauce.

Cook's Note:
* Use fresh garlic or garlic powder to substitute
** Ground dried shrimp is optional.


Topic: cilok/pentol

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