Two Women and A Half Man …a cooking journey with mum and grandma in beautiful Mauritius…

Niouk Yen – Choko and Meat Dumplings

“Niouk yen” is definitely a candidate for the national dish of Mauritius. More popularly known as “boulette” on the island, this rounded steamed dumpling is primarily made of choko vegetable(chayote) and mince pork. “Niouk yen” is a traditional Hakka food and the recipe has been passed on by Chinese Mauritians for generations. There are many variations of this dish – instead of choko some people use green papaya and the pork can also be substituted with beef.




  1. 500g grated and squeezed dry choko vegetable
  2. 165g tapioca or corn flour
  3. 300g finely chopped lean pork meat
  4. 100g dried shrimps
  5. 150g fried Chinese vermicelli (optional)
  6. Soy sauce
  7. Salt
  8. Pepper
  9. Cooking oil


First and foremost, the grated choko should be marinated with salt to taste and left for one hour. Then, with a cloth squeeze as much water as possible out of the grated choko.

  1. Rinse and clean the dried shrimp and leave in a bowl of water for 1 hour.
  2. Finely chop the dried shrimp. In a bit of cooking oil, saute the shrimp with a bit of salt and pepper for 2 minutes and put aside.
  3. On a hot wok, saute pork meat with salt, pepper and soy sauce until brown, and set aside.
  4. In very hot oil, fry the Chinese vermicelli until it’s crisp. This process takes around 20 seconds. Crush the vermicelli with your hands into a powdery consistency.
  5. In a big bowl, mix the pork, grated and squeezed dry choko vegetable, crushed Chinese vermicelli, tapioca flour, and cooked dried shrimp. Check for a solid ish and stick ish consistency, if too watery add more tapioca flour and if too dry add a bit of water.
  6. Make small balls around 2 cm diameter. If the meat ball keeps its shape, then you know you will have perfect niouk yen, If it doesn’t stick together it’s probably too dry, and it does fall apart it is probably too watery.
  7. Steamed for 12 – 15 minutes. To make sure it’s cooked, open one and check for uncooked flour in the middle. If cooked for too long, the meat balls will disintegrate.
  8. Spread fresh spring onions and serve with soy and chilli sauce


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