The moment I bite into this snack, the brown Gula Melaka would just oozed out and filled my mouth with the sweetness from the liquid. Together with the aroma from the grated coconut and the bland-sweetness of the outer wrap, it always gives me the heavenly feeling. It is nothing but the oozing Ondeh-Ondeh.
I am a kueh kueh lover, always attracted by the taste and texture. Notwithstanding, it is always expensive to buy from stalls and the size of the kueh is always so petite that can never satisfy my food craving. So, I decided to roll up my sleeves and do it myself.
Some friends told me it is difficult to do oozing Ondeh-Ondeh, I am determined to take up the challenge. So, I have done some researches on such recipes and chanced upon Irene’s peranakan recipes by Irene Yeo and Elaine Yeo.
There are some takeaways from my experiences in preparing this snack. Although we are doing this at home, I prefer to weigh every piece of the dough wrap and filling to ensure consistency and to prevent too much or too little of either the wrap or filling which may result to the filling leaking out even before cooking or too thick a skin. I have tried few sizes and decided that every +/-13g of dough wrap goes well with +/-3.5g of gula-melaka filling. Of course, this is just a guide, there is no need for precision. And, I like to be able to pop one ondeh-ondeh into my mouth for the bursting effect in my mouth. So, the ondeh-ondeh should be of bite size.
I have also added some pandan leaves to the water for boiling the glutinous rice balls, to add fragrance to the ondeh-ondeh. Instead of chopping the gula melaka, I used the normal blade slicer that is used for slicing vegetables, to slice the gula melaka. I purposely kept the gula melaka at manageable sizes for easy management and it won’t melt in my hands while wrapping it. Some people may cut it to cubes, which I haven’t tried and not sure if it would melt while cooking. When you eat some commercially sold ondeh-ondeh, you may still be able to taste some small pieces of gula melaka therein. This is not what we want. We want the oozing of the liquid.
For mashing the sweet potato, you may use the traditional way by using the back of a fork, I used food processor and thereafter, the back of the fork to ensure no more lumps, which is faster and less energy wasting. To cook the glutinous rice balls, ensure the boiling water is lowered to a barely simmering state before putting the glutinous rice balls in to prevent them from bursting. And, gently stir by swirling the water to prevent the dough balls from sticking to each other and at the bottom of the pot.
Have fun trying!
1. Peel and dice the sweet potato and steam until they are soft, approximately 15-20 minutes under medium-high heat.
2. Chop or slice the gula melaka to crumb-like or very thin slices using blade slicer.
3. Steam the grated coconut with the crushed pandan leaves and toss in pinch of salt, for 15 minutes to prevent the coconut from turning sour too fast.
4. Mash the sweet potato either with the back of the fork or a food processor then mash any lumps manually using the back of the fork.
5. Add the glutinous rice flour to the sweet potato and followed by the tepid water. Do not add all the warm water at one go, add 10-20ml each time as you may not use the entire 80ml warm water, depending on the moisture of the sweet potato.
6. Knead the dough after adding the water each time until you achieve a firm and manageable dough. Dough should not stick to your hands, else it is too wet. Add a bit of water if it is too dry.
7. Divide the dough equally into small portions approximately +/- 13g per piece.
8. Roll each portion slightly then make a little dent to the centre of each portion of dough using your thumb, be careful not to push too deep and thin the wrap too much.
9. Place approximately +/-3.5g of gula melaka. It is about half a teaspoon. Then, wrap the filling and roll the ball slightly to ensure the ball is smooth. Do not roll too hard or too long, else it may melt the gula melaka inside and it may leak through. If there is crack, just dust a bit of glutinous rice flour to smooth the crack. You can dust a bit of glutinous rice flour on your palm and fingers to prevent the dough from sticking.
10. Bring the pot of water to boil. The water level should be enough for the dough balls to maneuver in the pot and able to float. When boiling, lower the heat to very gentle simmer.
11. Put the glutinous rice balls gently into the water and stir very gently to swirl the water around the dough balls to prevent them from sticking to one another and to the bottom of the pot. The water must be barely simmering for gentle cooking of the dough balls to prevent them from bursting. If you see some dough balls start to leak, do not worry, the gula melaka may still be intact. Unless the balls are breaking and you could see the gula melaka flowing out.
12. When the cooked glutinous rice balls float up, use the perforated spoon to drain before rolling them over the plate of grated coconut.
13. Serve. I suggest to serve when it is slightly cooler.
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