Don’t Oozes Onto My Shirt!–Sweet Potato Onde Onde (番薯椰丝糯米球)



Today, I have prepared these sweet potatoes onde onde in my home town Sarawak.


Since I am in my mother in law’s house, I thought I might as well prepared something for my wife’s family since they have been reading about my blog entries but do not have a chance to taste it.


Hmmm, frankly speaking, I do not really like to cook in a kitchen of not my own. Not that they are not helpful but I have to ask from A to Z where they keep the plate and etc.…and in ended up I am using this to weigh my ingredients.


Taking into consideration the availability of raw material and my in law’s kitchen utensils and crockery, I have decided to prepare something simpler, sweet potatoes onde onde. In fact,  I started to get unfamiliar with the town that I was born and raise after spending more than 20 years overseas.


I have a hard time to get simple cooking ingredients such as shredded fresh coconuts. I have visited 4 stores and bag the last store to “do me a favour” so that they re-open the machine and sold me some fresh shredded coconut for me.


Being in Sarawak, I have to take advantage of the local materials here. Gula Melaka or coconut palm sugar all this while is not a common sugar item in Sarawak cuisines. Instead, the Sarawak version of Gula Melaka is called Gula Apong, not from coconut palm but from another type of palm called nipah palm.(scientific name:  nypa fruiticans). In my humble opinion, it is more aromatic than Gula Melaka. In fact, in recent years, price have increased tremendously due to demand exceeds supply.. If you are interested to understand, you can read this translated articles on Gula Apong here.


Onde Onde or Ondeh Ondeh or Klepon is a common rice cake stuffed with palm sugar. As per Wikipedia:

“Klepon (pronounced Klê-pon) is a traditional rice cake, popular in Indonesia and Malaysia. It is a boiled rice cake, stuffed with liquid gula jawa (palm sugar), and rolled in grated coconut. Klepon is green because it is flavoured with a paste made from the pandan or dracaena plant whose leaves are used widely in South East Asian cooking. In other parts of Indonesia, such as in Sumatra and in neighbouring Malaysia, klepon is called as onde-onde.”  (Source:



Recipe adapted from: Sweet Potato Ondeh Ondeh

Servings: Prepared about 10-15 Onde Onde depending on size of rice balls prepared


Skin Ingredients

  • 150 grams of sweet potato – skinned, steamed and mashed
  • 150 grams of glutinous rice flour
  • 100 grams of lukewarm water
  • 20 grams of castor sugar
  • 20 grams of cooking oil (not in picture)


Filling  and coating ingredients

  • 100 grams of Gula Apong (nipah palm sugar) or Gula Melaka (coconut sugar)
  • 2-3 pieces of Pandan leaves cut into small pieces
  • 150 grams of freshly grated coconuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt


  • 2 litres of hot water for boiling the glutinous rice balls
  • 1/2 to 1 litre of icy cold water for cooling the cooked glutinous rice balls




  • Skin, steam and mash the sweet potatoes, set aside for later use.
  • In a big bowl, put the glutinous rice flour, sugar, oil and mash potatoes. Gradually add in the lukewarm water until use hand to knead until well combined and become a pliable dough.


  • Meanwhile, in a steamer, place the grated coconut, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the pandan leaves. Steam in the steamer for about 10-15 minutes or until the pandan leaves are soft.

  • While the coconut is steamed, Divide the dough into 10-15 equal pieces. I have divide the dough into 30 grams each. Take a ball, flatten eat, put a teaspoon of Gula Apong on the centre of the dough. If you are using Gula Melaka, you will have to chop the gula Melaka into as fine as possible in advance If possible use mortar or pastel to pound it until fine.


  • Seal up the edges and shape it round and set aside for later boiling. When all the balls are almost done, prepare a pot of boiling hot water.


  • Put the sweet potatoes balls into the hot boiling water. Let them boil until all the sweet potatoes balls float up. When they float up, it means that the sweet potatoes balls are cooked. Scoop out the cooked balls from the pot and place them in the icy cold water. Let it rest in the icy cold water for 2-3 minutes before drain and transfer it out the steamed grated coconut prepare earlier. Best serve as a snack for tea time.



This is not a difficult recipe. In fact, it is rather simple.


A few tips to share, if you are using Gula Melaka, it is best to pound the Gula Melaka until powdery to get the oozing effect when you take your bite. Secondly, do not be overly greedy with your filling. While it is good to be generous, too much filling can render the ball bursting when cooked . In addition, it may become overly sweet that may disappoint your guests.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 21 March 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.