May 02, 2009 | | Comments 18


I shared a dessert called Onde-Onde in the Gilmore Park Community Kitchen. We had a sweet treat day as we have two desserts on the same day. Onde-Onde is a popular street food in South East Asia.


Onde-Onde is very similar to the various Chinese Tang Yuan like Glutinous Rice Ball with Sesame Peanuts Filings, Hong Kong style Tang Yuan and Taiwanese Tang Yuan. The only difference is those Tang Yuan are served in a sweet syrupy soup while Onde-Onde is served dry with shredded coconut coating. It is more like a finger food.


This Onde-Onde recipe is flavoured with pandan leaves. Pandan leaves (also known as screwpine leaves) are used commonly in the South East Asia in making desserts. You can find pandan leaves in the frozen section of some Filipino groceries stores here and even fresh ones from Vancouver Chinatown.

Pandan leaf is used to impart it’s fragrance into the dessert. It is normally discarded after the dish is made like this Sweet Potato Soup. Pandan leaves are also used as a natural green food coloring.


  • 10 pandan leaves
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • few drops of green coloring (optional)
  • 400g glutinous rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of water (more if needed)


  • 100g gula melaka (palm sugar)


  • 150g grated coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt



ondeonde-1Clean and pound or blend pandan leaves with some water.
ondeonde-2Place the blended pandan leaves in a strainer and squeeze out the pure green pandan juice. If colour is not sufficiently green, add a few drops of green coloring). Set aside.
ondeonde-4Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
ondeonde-6Add pandan juice and just enough water to mix into a dough.
ondeonde-7Take about 50g of the dough, flatten.
ondeonde-8Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Drop the 50g disc into the boiling water.
ondeonde-9When it floats, remove and combine with the rest of the dough. Knead well until dough turns smooth.This mixture of cooked and raw dough is meant to stabilize the dough. According to Heidi, this makes the dough more chewier.
ondeonde-10Pinch out the dough to about the size of a small lime or marble and flatten it. Add a small teaspoon of filling in the centre. Cover up and roll the dough into a ball.
ondeonde-11Repeat process until all the dough is used up.
ondeonde-12Bring water to a boil in a large pot. When water boils, gently drip in the small balls of Onde-Onde, one at a time. Stir the water to create a gentle currant so that the ball will not stick to the bottom of the pot.
ondeonde-13Wait until the balls float to the surface, then scoop out with a perforated ladle.
ondeonde-14Drop them into a pot of icy cold water. This process will also helps the glutinous rice ball to be more chewier.
ondeonde-15Scoop out with a perforated ladle into a strainer and drain the excess water.
ondeonde-16In a large plate, mix together grated coconut and salt. Roll the cooked Onde-Onde in grated coconut.
ondeonde-17This recipe makes about 30 Onde-Onde. The recipe is adapted from Amy Beh at Home.
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  1. Phil says:

    Looks amazing! I have not had this in over a decade and it looks like a lot of work so kudos to you!

  2. Shelley says:

    This looks so yummy!
    Where can you get gula melaka in vancouver??

    • Suanne says:

      Hi Shelley, you can find palm sugar in many Chinese groceries stores in Richmond. I’m not sure about Vancouver as I dont shop in Vancouver but I’m sure you can get it in Chinatown.

  3. Michelle says:

    do you know the name of palm sugar in chinese? I tried finding gula melaka in T&T (downtown) but was not successful.

    • Suanne says:

      Hi Michelle, I believe it’s called ‘yeh tong’ in Cantonese. I know there is this Singapore store (cant recall it’s name) which is famous for it’s fish ball (across Richmond public market) does carry authentic gula melaka.

  4. imas says:

    Hi Ben & Suanne,

    i think what you called “onde-onde” here, in Indonesia (Java for sure) is called “klepon” while “Onde-onde” is another different kind of street food.
    Onde-onde in Indonesia is coated with sesame grains and filled with red bean paste. that’s what i know :)
    anyway, your site is so cool! i like the photos, i like the way you review the menus, i just love it so much :)

  5. cutemommy98 says:

    yummy!yummy! my favourite dessert ;-)

  6. FeR says:

    Hi there! Thank you for your pictures!!! Very good! I was wondering why one recipe called for the small portion of cooked dough to be placed back into “raw” dough – and they didn’t have the explanation like yours.
    Thanks again! My biggest problem is wrapping the sugar in the dough without breaking when I roll them into a ball again – is there a specific technique?

    • Suanne says:

      Hi FeR, I think the trick to wrapping the sugar in the dough without breaking is the sugar must be fine and do not fill too much and the dough must not be too thin.

  7. 卡珞 says:

    It looks so great! Can I have one?

  8. Michelle says:

    I remember stuffing myself silly on these things when I traveled to Indonesia and Malaysia 20 years ago. I must try this recipe to bring back the memories. Do you know of any place in Vancouver that sells these little treats?

  9. Estelle Chow says:

    Hi hi, I come across your blog as I was searching for Ondeh Ondeh recipe. My friend and I started on a recipe which uses only glutinous flour, and the dough is too sticky & difficult to manage.
    Your recipe is wonderful, esp the step-by-step photos. The addition of tapioca flour makes the dough much easier to shape.
    I posted photos of my ondeh-making process in Facebook, now all my friends wanted to know where I got the recipe.

  10. Idy says:

    Hi, I followed your recipe accordingly and managed to make my first onde-onde! Thanks for the clearly illustrated recipe :)

  11. [...] that Iden likes to eat onde-onde, so decided to try my hands on it.  I found this recipe from Chow Times.  Bought the necessary ingredients and followed the instructions accordingly.  The recipe was [...]

  12. Candice says:

    Before I mixed the cooked dough, the dough was not sticky but when I mixed the cooked dough together, it can hardly mixed and it was so sticky until I can hardly roll into a ball. Must I wait the cooked dough until completely cold? And because it was too soft, all the sugar spilled out? Why?

  13. Lynn says:

    Like Candice, I too had a problem with the dough after adding back the cooked dough with the rest of raw dough. The dough become extremely sticky and can’t mix into a nice smooth ball at all. I would very much like to know why the dough becomes super sticky dough.
    I’ve been searching for detailed steps on making ondeh ondeh and yours is the best and most detailed thus far that I’ve seen. A big Thank You for the great details. Would be excellent if you can show a picture to address the step after mixing in cooked dough.

  14. Azhar Ariff says:

    Tried this recipe, i recommend skipping steps 5 to 7 as the dough will turn into a sticky mess! I had to redo the dough all over again. The second batch, without adding the cooked dough turned out perfect. I suppose the heat and humidity in Malaysia has something to do with it?

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