It is Monday and time for another Muhibbah Malaysian Monday. This time I am bringing Ondeh-Ondeh, a Nyonya (Straits Chinese) tea time favorite, to the round-up. These delightful furry balls are a joy to eat as they have a little surprise in them. They explode with sweet melted palm sugar in your mouth when chewed! It is always fun to watch the “unsuspecting” eating this for the first time. :)

Before we move on to the recipe, I am very excited to tell you that Roti n Rice has been selected as the Foodista Food Blog of the Day for July 11, 2011. Rose Berry Agar-agar will be featured on the Foodista homepage for 24 hours. Please do check it out. Thank you all for your continued support.


There are two versions of Ondeh-Ondeh. One is made with just plain glutinous rice flour while the other has a little sweet potato added to the dough. It is usually scented with pandan (screwpine) juice and rolled in fresh dessicated coconut. As I was not in the mood to try to extract the pandan juice from the pandan leaves and I do not have pandan essence with me, I decided to flavor the dough with a teaspoon of vanilla instead. Fresh grated coconut is not something easily found here in the north and so I used dried dessicated coconut. I toasted the coconut to bring out its fragrance.

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 16 ondeh-ondeh
  • 1 small (8oz/225g) sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 cup (125g) glutinous rice flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla or pandan
  • 3 tbsp water
  • ½ cup (3.5oz/100g) shaved palm sugar or brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (60g) dessicated coconut
  1. Dry fry dessicated coconut until lightly brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and place in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place sweet potatoes in a steamer and steam for 10 minutes until soft and mashable. Remove and place steamed sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Mash sweet potatoes with a potato masher. Add glutinous rice flour, salt, and vanilla. Mixed well and knead until a soft pliable dough forms.
  3. Divide dough into 16 equal portions and form into balls. Flatten a ball of dough in the palm of your hand into flat disks of about 2-inch diameter. Place a teaspoon of palm sugar in the center. Gather up the sides and seal well to form a ball of about 1-inch diameter . Roll between your palms until ball of dough is smooth. Place on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  4. Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. Gently drop in formed ondeh-ondeh. Reduce heat to medium and allow ondeh-ondeh to cook until they float to the surface, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  5. Drop onto fried coconut one at a time to coat.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.


I am sending this to Sharon for Muhibbah Malaysia Monday #13.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎

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  1. says

    These look amazing. I love the surprise inside, so yummy! I was wondering where you get your pandan leaves? Do you have a plant? Or do we have to look for screwpine here, I’ve been wanting to get one.

    • Biren says

      Thanks Lyndsey! I get my pandan leaves in the frozen section of the Vietnamese store. They call it “la dua”.

  2. says

    Hi Biren! I love that photo with the sweet potato oozing it out- it looks so good. I have never heard of Ondeh Ondeh but it looks like an super yummy variation of mochi. Congrats on Foodista!

    • Biren says

      Thanks Lindsey! These ondeh-ondeh do look and taste a little like a mochi except for the filling. I like how the melted palm sugar oozes out in one’s mouth. :)

    • Biren says

      Hi Veronica, thanks for visiting and commenting! I’ve never tried it with pumpkin but I can see that it will work. :)

  3. says

    I would be ever so happy to have these “explode” in my mouth! Such delightful little treats. Congratulations on being featured!

    • Biren says

      These delightful little bites are fun and delicious to eat. Thanks Reeni! I am honored to be featured on Foodista. :)

  4. says

    Never talk while eating ondeh-ondeh….kekekek.
    This happens to be one of my favorite Nyonya kueh. The one I have tried is usually green – I think infused with pandan leaves?

  5. says

    I love Oneh-Oneh and I remember the first time I made this was in my secondary school and I love to pop the whole piece in my mouth and I totally agree with Tiger – never talk while eating Oneh-Oneh :)

  6. says

    Biren, these look absolutely magical. I’m going to add “Ondeh-ondeh” to my list of discoveries and bear in mind that they will explode in the mouth. So much to learn about Malaysian food! Great going on Foodista – well deserved!

  7. says

    Nice looking ondeh-ondeh…
    When I was young… I didn’t quite like the gooey glutinous rice texture… but now… I love it, keep popping like pop-corn and can’t stop ..hehehe 😀

  8. says

    Sounds delicious! I love sweet potato, and I think I might have had something like this when I was in Singapore… I bet it’s yummy with that melted palm sugar in the center! Yum! Great recipe :)

  9. says

    I never had anything like this before and would love to try it since I love glutinous rice. Looks delicious!
    Hope you are having a great week Biren :-)

  10. says

    Ondeh-ondeh is my daughter’s favourite. And using the roasted coconut sounds really interesting!
    I read somewhere that desiccated coconut can be reconstituted by soaking in water for 10 minutes or so, I have not tried it, so I don’t know how it taste like.
    Congratulations on being Foodista Food blog of the day! :)

  11. says

    These look wickedly delicious, Biren. I’ve never had Ondeh Ondeh before. Thanks for introducing me to them. Congrats on being selected as the Foodista Food Blog of the day!

  12. says

    Oh Biren, another yummy dessert!!! I love coconut around the balls… I don’t know this particular sweets, but from ingredients and the method of cooking, I am already in love. Hehee. BIG CONGRATS on your recipe being featured at Foodista! YAY! Sorry for my late congrats…I’m a bit behind in pretty much “everything” now. Ugh. Looking forward to your next yummy recipe! 😉

  13. says

    Congrats on being chosen! Always love your photos and recipe. I love ondeh ondeh. It’s just so therapeutic just biting into them 😀

  14. says

    Yum Biren! I love the surprise in the middle. I really need to come and eat at your house one of these days. You always make my tummy grumble.

  15. says

    Thanks for a great submission Biren. This is one of my favourite kuih and I love the sweet potato version :) The best bit is the squirt of the filling when bitten into, so true.

    • Biren says

      You are most welcomed Shaz. Thanks for hosting! Oh yes, the sweet palm sugar in the mouth is just the best. :)

  16. says

    You know, I’ve never tried sweet potato ondeh-ondeh? Can you believe it?! Jakun LOL I LOVED ondeh-ondeh when I was really, really young. The gula melaka squirting out the ball when I bit into it used to make me laugh so much my mother thought there was something wrong with me 😀 My cousins and I used to try to ‘shoot’ each other with the projectile gula melaka LOLOLOL So naughty we were, and so WASTEFUL!!! Aiyoh!

    • Biren says

      Haha…I am trying to picture you and your cousins trying to shoot each other with gula melaka projectiles. Those were the days of carefree abandon.

      You should try sweet potato ondeh-ondeh. The sweet potato provide a nice flavor and makes the ondeh-ondeh a little less “floury” in taste. :)

  17. says

    Beautiful ondeh-ondeh! Those added with mashed sweet potato are the best! *Slurp* 😀
    Some will also add a little dessicated coconut inside together with the shaved palm sugar and I love those! 😀

  18. says

    I am going to try to make this one with our next home-grown sweet potato harvest! We been searching for many sweet potato recipes lately to try since we harvested some tubers last month. I tried once making sweet potato onde-onde from a recipe book but did not went well due to too much water. But I will have a go again with yours. Wish me luck!

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