Monday, August 3, 2009

Ondeh Ondeh

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Ondeh ondeh

How many of you had home science classes? I know they have replaced it with Kemahiran Hidup (Living Skill) classes which the Education Department somehow deem are more useful to students. In KH, Form 3 (Year 9) students make wooden boxes as their exam project. I'm not sure what these boxes are for. They look like tissue boxes. My son went through 3 years of KH from which his greatest achievement was a wooden box which got stolen which the teacher casually brushed off because everybody will get the same marks as long as they made The Box. I'm sure some good will come out of KH. I'm not seeing it but I just have to trust the educators that making boxes is better than learning to cook. Never mind that the rest of the world is getting back into the kitchen, as evidenced by the countless food programs on TV, not to mention food blogs. Students must make tissue boxes because that will help them survive in the jungle or the desert or when they go to college.

If you went through Home Science like I did, you wouldn't have to make The Box. You'd have made rock buns, sardine sandwiches, curry puffs and ondeh ondeh, classic Malaysian tea time treats in the 70s. I suppose you'll have more success impressing your future MIL with a wooden tissue box than with a spread of teatime goodies. Ah, as the world turns.

Ondeh ondeh is one of those super easy to make glutinous rice balls snacks available in most Asian countries. In China, glutinous rice balls called tang yuen have sesame or red bean paste filling and are served as a sweet soup while chi fa bun are served like Japanese mochis, finger snacks with red bean paste or peanut filling, coated with glu rice flour to prevent sticking to each other, and dangos, which are plain unfilled glu rice balls, roasted over a fire and doused with a sweet soy sauce. Ondeh ondeh are by far the prettiest of them all because rolled in shredded fresh coconut, they look soft and fluffy. Tastewise too, ondeh ondeh are more delicious because there's the flavor of the pandan leaves, gula melaka (a wonderfully-scented brown sugar from palm trees) and fresh coconut. Even if you've eaten ondeh ondeh before, it never fails to give a pleasant surprise at first bite when the liquid gula melaka squirts in your mouth. Ordinary brown sugar is nearly flavorless but gula melaka has an amazing flavor. If it was a French sugar, it'd be ranked as a gourmet item but no worries, we'll keep our gula to ourselves.

This ondeh ondeh recipe is from Zurin and I am posting it specially for my two older kids. Yi said ondeh ondeh are selling at A$3 for 5. I have this great idea. My kids can sell ondeh ondeh at Vic Mart's weekend fair for pocket money. 500 would bring in A$300 per day, 4 times per month makes A$1200. That is nearly RM4000 per month for working once a week. Wait. I think I'll go over and make some pocket money myself.

P1320858

Ondeh Ondeh
2 cups glutinous rice flour
150 ml water
5-7 pieces pandan leaves
1/3 cup gula melaka, finely chopped
1 cup fresh coconut, shredded*

* you may have to use Hawaiian coconut if fresh coconut is not available. Hawaiian coconut makes prettier ondeh ondeh but doesn't taste as good as the fresh coconut.

Prep: pound or whizz the pandan leaves into a fine mess. Mix the leaves with the water and massage the mixture well to release the juice. Squeeze into a large glass and strain into a measuring jug to remove any leaf bits. If you don't get 150 ml, top it with water. I've used more pandan leaves to get a stronger color and fragrance but you adjust it because pandan plants vary in their flavor and color.

1. Mix the pandan water with the glu rice flour until it comes together. You may need to add 2-3 tablespoon of water. Don't make the dough too wet or the balls won't hold up and will stick to your plate. If dough is too wet, you can flour your palms.

2. Break off bits of the dough, or roll it into a log and break off from there. Make the ondeh ondeh small so that you can pop it into your mouth without biting into two and risk squirting gula melaka at your new date. Maybe that's not a bad idea. Roll each dough bit into a smooth ball.

3. Get a pot of water boiling.

4. Using your thumb, make a dent in the middle of the ball and spoon about 1/3 teaspoon of gula melaka into the dent. Push the dough together to seal the dent. Roll until smooth. Do not make the dent too big because you don't want to fill it up with lots of sugar (traditionally, a lot of sugar is used but that's not nutritionally correct now). If the dent is big and not fully filled up with sugar, the ondeh ondeh will collapse after it cools.

5. Drop the balls into the boiling water. Use a slotted spoon to move the ondeh ondeh so that they don't stick to each other. When the balls are cooked, they will rise to the surface. Give them another minute or more (they won't disintegrate) so that the gula melaka melts. You should test one to see if the gula has melted. I like to switch the heat off and scoop a few balls out to roll in coconut each time, leaving the rest floating in the water.

6. Roll the balls in the grated coconut to coat. Let cool.

30 comments:

Simply June said...

I love this kuih! I made it myself since I can hardly get them in the US. I had kemahiran hidup which was split into 2 sessions when I was in high (secondary) school. One was learning to cook and sew, the other was wood work and electronic stuff. I love the cooking part of the class! My sewing skills sucked!

J2Kfm said...

i like those with a cube of gula melaka, undiluted. :)
kinda nice biting into one, which oozes sweet elixir ...

J. Ambrose said...
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Agnes said...

Yum Yum Yum!!

My aunt always make this for us! =D~ she also made one that is using sagu into a red jelly form coated with the shredded coconut which was good too.

Anonymous said...

Ondehondeh,I love them, thanks for the post, love visiting this blog daily.

Shan said...

Love,Love,Love - used to treat myself to a few of these during my student days in Singapore. Scotts foodcourt was pretty famous for them.

For the other cakes I'd go to Bengawan Solo :)

ganache-ganache said...

Oh, I've been thinking coconut & gula melaka desserts lately but really no time to make. I should find time one day to make these for the girls, don't think they've ever tried these. Btw, I've made these with mashed sweet potato. Now I'm trying to recall where's my recipe, must go find it out !!

Precious Pea said...

I made this in school, yes, during Kemahiran Hidup i think in form 1 or 2. I just spotted glutinous flour in the chinese grocer..hope i can find good gula melaka here.

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gracie said...

I love this treat.. one of my favourites.. Usually i buy them from Bits and Bites at Wisma Merdeka hehe.. now that i know how to make it.. i'll give it a try!

Plain Jane said...

I was always making these yummies back in perth..not only did i impressed the pants off my friends (i never told how darn easy it was to make!!),I din hv to pay ridiculous amt for them! (at least I thot it was for 5 rather chewy balls that tasted prosaic!)

yummmm...:-)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

looks like theres alot of money to be made in australia!

mott said...

oo..how yummylicious! Unfortunately, the ones here (melb) really suck, because :
1) Pandan leaves are hard to grow here and are expensive. So most sellers use extracts ~ which isn't authentic enough.
2) Dessicated fresh coconut is hard to find..n most sellers use processed ones. Which..also sucks.

But..yet, they sell here becoz stupid people like me, whose stomach doesn't listen to the brain, will urge the hand to reach deep into our purses and pay for it.

*sniff*

tofugirl said...

Hi Terri, do you think that frozen pandan leaves would be okay for a recipe like this? I've never been able to get fresh leaves here but there is no shortage of the frozen kind...

looks so delicious!

Anonymous said...

室內設計 歐化廚具
系統櫃 系統傢俱
傢俱 廚具 歐式廚具
裝潢 室內設計作品
抽油煙機 廚具工廠

你想為愛的小窩重新換個造型ㄇ! 你想為甜蜜小窩重新添購家具ㄇ!

歡迎進入全台灣最具規模的廚具裝潢網^^

ch3rri said...

I'm on a diet....but this is tempting. I love desserts! This is a good one too. Mmmmm....

They don't sell them here in the US.

LG said...

slurrp! I love Ondeh Ondeh too..Thanks for the recipe and now I can make it at home

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terri@adailyobsession said...

june:how come my kids didn't get cooking lessons in KH? :( ha, my sewing skills sucked too, still does.my theory is those who cook can't sew & vice versa.

j2:yes yes. gula melaka is sooo yummy isn't it.

agnes:instead of red coloring, maybe tell her to use pandan?

shan: yes, bengawan solo's nyonya treats were good. wonder if they still are.

ganache: sweet potato sounds good too. anything with gula melaka n fresh coconut or santan is delicious.

pp:u started cooking already? how do u like winter :D

gracie: i like the 7 layer kuih at bits n bites even tho the color is scary

terri@adailyobsession said...

plain jane: ya, ondeh ondeh looks impressive but r so easy to make.

joe: u next in line at the immigration office?

mott: yes, i did wonder how good it can get w/o the real leaves n fresh coconut. would be sooo different. i hate artificial pandan extract n i dessicated coconut.

tofugirl: yes i think frozen pandan works almost as well. never tried it but i imagine frozen would still be better than artificial

chr3ii: so am i but i popped 6 in b4 i felt anything...

lg: welcome, come again :)

terri@adailyobsession said...

chr3ii: r u the person who asked for nangka seeds? i am afraid nangka trees will never grow in california, n it is a rather big tree. give me an easier request..

zurin said...

Thnx for linking Terri :)))

charmaine said...

I tried making this today but I felt that the glutinous rice didn't deliver on the 'bite'. It tasted like 'tang yuan' with gula melaka...

my mum said that I should have mashed sweet potato and added that to the flour to give it more taste and texture. That's what her mother did. Perhaps that might help? Or maybe all of us have different ways of making ondeh ondeh... (:

terri@adailyobsession said...

charmaine: hmm.ondeh ondeh is a kind of tang yuen since it is made of glu rice flour. if u add sweet potato the ondeh ondeh will be softer--is tt the texture u want? if so, there's no harm doing tt but the original ondeh ondeh is green not orange n made of pure glu rice folur only.

Simply June said...

I was from an all girls' school...so not sure if that's the case? I do love your theory on those who can't sew, cook and vice versa..My mom however is a great cook/baker and she sews very well...she even hand sewn me a beautiful quilt with different flower appliques..

ps: i use frozen pandan leaves here. they worked out great! I used them for ondeh ondeh, kuih ketayap and also cendol! I also use frozen dessicated coconut...which is ok of course nothing compared to fresh shredded coconut.

Simply June said...

Oh.. i wonder if they changed the education system after I graduated from form 5 in 1998.

TeaLady said...

We took what was called Home Economics. Cooking. Sewing. Life skills. We had to take it. Today it is voluntary and I don't think they really teach anything worthwhile anymore.

Funny post about the tissue box and survival.

rokh said...

ooo i remember KH very well, my favourite part was of course the cooking/baking! but we never did ondeh-ondeh though, i fondly remember mostly bakings for sweet stuff. those were the days :)

花 花 宇 宙 said...

hey, i made this also during my kemahiran hidup class. Link ur blog cause i use ur recipe. Thanks

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