Bakwan Sayur: the flavorful recipe for Indonesian Vegetable Fritters

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
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White cabbage
250 g (1/4)
small carrot
All-purpose flour
150 g (1 1/4 cups)
Rice flour
50 g (1/4 cup)
1 tsp
1 tsp
1 tsp
chili flakes
1 tsp
250 ml (1 cup)
Garlic cloves, minced

Bakwan sayur is a popular Indonesian vegetable fritter— a street food that you will find sold by most vendors across the nation. Usually, it contains a mixture of vegetables like cabbage, carrot, and sometimes mung bean sprouts.

The flavor is rich thanks to the cabbage, and the texture is crispy. In this case, you want to avoid the oven—frying gives these fritters their characteristic crunch!

To make it, you simply mix the vegetables into your batter and fried spoonful in hot oil. As easy as that! So easy to make and delicious, you won't be able to stop at one!


What Is Bakwan Sayur?

Bakwan sayur (pronounced bahk-whan sah-yur) is an Indonesian deep-fried vegetable fritter, often containing cabbage, carrot, and mung bean sprouts. In Indonesia, they’re sold by most vendors as popular street food.

Certain regions in Indonesia call this as bala-bala, which means “messy” in English, but it’s said that the term bakwan sayur is more well-known.


Bakwan Sayur Ingredients

Cabbage – use white or green cabbages; use baby cabbages if you want it to be slightly sweeter.

Carrots – use fresh, peeled carrots.

Flours – rice flour and all-purpose flour.

Sugar – adds some sweetness.

Garlic – adds flavor.

Egg – acts as a binder.

How To Make Bakwan Sayur

Shred white cabbage and carrot.  Whisk flour with salt, pepper and sugar. Add the water, egg, and garlic. Mix in vegetables.

Place a pot of oil over medium heat, and place the spoons in the oil to heat up. Fill them with vegetable batter. After 2 minutes carefully remove bakwan from the ladle. Fry for 4-5 minutes more.

Make sure to use an oil suitable for frying at higher temperatures. These include canola, peanut, sunflower, corn oil, and more. If you want to reuse the oil, allow it to cool, and strain it. You can use it a few times more for vegetable fritters. Use a thermometer to check that the oil is at about 350°F.


Tips For The Best Indonesian Vegetable Fritters

For a sweeter, less pungent flavor, use baby cabbages—they’re often sweeter. Don’t use purple cabbage, as this may discolor the fritters.

If you want to make the fritters meatier, add cooked ground beef, smoked turkey, cooked bacon pieces, smoked salmon, chopped ham, or shredded rotisserie chicken.

Feel free to add chopped herbs to add more flavor. Basil, thyme, and parsley will all go well with this omelet.

You can use other veggies too (it’s a great way to empty the fridge!): mushrooms (cook them first), leeks, zucchini, red onions, sweetcorn, spinach (wilted), and cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, and feta). Just make sure to sauté the veggies beforehand, and cook until all the moisture is removed.

How To Store Bakwan Sayur

Keep the Bakwan Sayur in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave when ready for serving. You can also refry them in a bit of oil if you want to make them crispy again.


Shred white cabbage and carrot.

Whisk flour with salt, pepper and sugar.

Pour water in portions. Add an egg and garlic.

Mix in vegetables.

Heat 2 medium ladles in oil.

Pour vegetable batter to fill them up.

After 2 minutes carefully remove bakwan from the ladle. Fry for 4-5 minutes more.


As the fritters finish cooking, layer them on paper towels to absorb excess oil. This will prevent them from becoming too greasy.

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