Malaysian Monday: Onde-Onde

Monday, September 7, 2009

many onde onde

Hey hey, it's Monday! Before I start,I notice that Shez over at one bite more has also started a Malaysian Monday thingo. Yay! The more the merrier I say. So I had a brilliant idea (yes, I am modest!)...if you'd like to do something Malaysian too (either every Monday or the odd Monday of your choice, it's up to you) email me on its(dot)sharon(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll add you to the newly minted Malaysian Monday blogroll over there ------>. And maybe I'll do a monthly roundup of my favourite posts (will keep you posted..get it?). Oh, and you don't have to be Malaysian to participate, just cook or talk about something Malaysian- your recent holiday perhaps?

Now onto our regular programme:

Onde-onde is one of my favourite Malaysian kuih. It is also known as Buah Melaka (Buah=fruit, Melaka=Malacca, a state in Malaysia). The kuih is simply a ball of soft yet “elastic” dough encompassing a filling of gula melaka (palm sugar). The entire ball is rolled in grated coconut. There are two versions of this kuih, one is made with glutinous rice flour and the other is made with sweet potato.

This has to be one of the “healthier” kuih around – not too sweet and it doesn’t include copious amounts of coconut milk. Plus it’s gluten free (the green version) and dairy free to boot (“and taste free” according to Mr. Kitchen Hand…insert eyeroll here)

I used an onde-onde recipe by Lily Ng. Lily’s blog is a veritable storehouse of Malaysian recipes, and she is extremely helpful if you have any questions. I made half portions of the given recipe, and I cooked the tapioca starch in the microwave instead of the stovetop (short 30 seconds bursts and stir well).

tapioca starchCooked tapioca starch for the green onde-onde

I also tried a sweet potato version because it’s been ages since I’ve had these treats and I figured I might as well make up for lost time. (Recipe given below – I kind of made it up as I went along, but it seemed to work, so if you do give it a whirl, let me know how it turns out☺. I hope that didn’t sound too iffy, but a lot of Malaysian recipes involve “agak-agak”– guesswork – measurements anyway. If you ask someone how they made something, you’ll usually get a list of ingredients and some vague measurements – a pinch of this, a handful of the other and a thumb sized piece of whatsit.)

Onde-onde really should be coated with freshly grated coconut, but I found that a passable substitute is shredded coconut mixed with a tiny amount of warm water ( roughly 1 cup shredded coconut and 1 tablespoon water – mix well and set aside). Dessicated coconut doesn’t really work as the texture is too fine for this recipe.

shredded coconut
Because the onde-onde is so round and sticky, Mum would always warn us about popping the whole kuih into our mouths just in case we choked on it. These words of warning are now duly rained down upon Mini-critic Senior who has taken an enormous liking to onde-onde (attagirl!). Mini-critic Junior however, sits firmly with her dad on this one. Which brings us to Mr. Kitchen Hand’s scores.

onde onde bittenInside the onde-onde ....mmm...sugar

The MKH Scale-O-Meter

(scores out of 5)
Appearance: 3 “Relatively non-threathening
Texture: Sweet potato version: 2.5 “Soft and lembik (squishy)” (yes, he speaks a smattering of Malay but won't eat kuih!)
Glutinous rice flour version: 2Rubbery!
Taste: Sweet potato version: 3 "Relatively non-threatening"
Glutinous rice flour version: 3 "Tastes slightly better than the other one"

Not too bad at all, I guess. He still won't eat a whole one but at least he didn't freak out too much.

Sweet Potato Onde-Onde

1 ½ sweet potato (about 390g)
10 g tapioca flour (about 2 tablespoonfuls)
25g glutinous rice flour
45g plain flour
Pieces of gula melaka (substitute with brown sugar)

Large pot and water to boil
Shredded coconut to coat

Steam the sweet potato until tender. Mash well, then add the flours and mix with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms (add more flour if necessary). The wooden spoon helps absorb moisture. Add more flour if necessary, the dough should be “dry” enough to form a ball, but if it is too “dry”, then the texture will become too tough. The final dough is very soft and needs to be worked on a well-floured surface.

onde onde dough-sweet potatoSweet potato dough

Make walnut sized rounds of dough. Flatten slightly and put a small amount of filling into the dough. Seal the edges very well or it will leak.

onde onde filling
In the large pot, bring water to boil. Pop the onde-onde in and remove with slotted spoon when cooked – they float. Dab spoon on a paper towel or tea towel to get rid of excess water.

Coat in shredded coconut. Enjoy – but don’t pop the whole thing into your mouth at once!

onde onde and pandanGoodbye pandan! The last of my pandan (I accidentally chopped the plant in half *sob*)

Have a good start to the weeek and come back tomorrow, I'm starting a new regular post-thingy.


shez said...

omgshaz! I love onde-onde! Where on earth did you find a pandan plant?! I've been looking all over for one since smelling the leaves in Malaysia a couple of trips ago.

And contrary to advice, I'm always popping the whole thing in my mouth (and running around flapping my arms in front of my face afterwards from the hot filling). So silly no?

jordan said...

i've never heard of these but they look SO good. i think i might try this : )

Anh said...

I love this! I made them quite often as well. I should buy some sweet potatoes soon.

shaz said...

Hi Shez - there's a plant stall at the organic markets in French's Forest, he doesn't bring the pandan with him you have to order it. I think he actually has a nursery somewhere else, will ask him next time.

Thanks Jordan, good luck - the texture can be a bit unusual- it's a little like mochi cake I suppose.

Hi Anh- let me know how it goes :), I actually prefer the glutinous rice version.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I adore pandan flavoured things but haven't had onde onde for ages. Thanks for the recipe!

Claire said...

I want to try some of these! Yum! =)