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The Squishy Surprise : Onde-Onde | Klepon

In Recipes, Singaporean on October 21, 2010 at 1:39 am

Did I mention in my last post that I’m done making green-coloured sweet snacks? Well, apparently not! Until onde-onde (as it’s called in M’sia / S’pore vs ‘klepon’ in Indonesia) is on the blog, it definitely warrants a revisit (to make the proper instructional photos). Within its soft chewy green exterior and snowy coconut-y coat, hides an unexpected sweet explosive surprise. Pop one into your mouth and BAM*! you’re hit with a burst of fragrant melted palm sugar that oozes out and engulfs your taste buds. Mmm, I really really love these green bally thingies!

This post is for the cuz who settled in Perth for 2 years now and unbelievably misses none of the lip-smacking Singaporean food except for — ONDE-ONDE (seriously, how can that be, A?)… as well as for the bunches of friends who have been pestering me for it since I was obsessively making it for every other international food gathering last year~ (and even for sale at the Asian supermarket). These little squishy surprises are such simple bundles of jumpy joy!

Onde-Onde | Klepon recipe (recipe by my own ‘feel’) makes 25 small balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • Small piece of sweet potato (~50g)
  • 1/2 tsp pandan paste
  • 50g gula melaka (coconut palm sugar)
  • 1 tbsp white sugar / brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dessicated / shredded coconut
  • pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Cut sweet potato into small segments and boil / steam.
  2. Chop palm sugar into bits and mix in 1 tbsp of white / brown sugar. Set aside.
  3. Mash the cooked sweet potato and mix into glutinous rice flour.
  4. Bind together flour and sweet potato with warm water into a smooth dough. It should be easily shaped, not crumbly and not sticky. Adjust with water / flour.
  5. Add pandan paste to the dough and knead till colour is even. Alternatively, you could also add it in to the water at step 4.
  6. Pinch small balls of dough, flatten it with thumb, place a small amount of sugar in the middle, close and roll into a ball with the palms of your hand.
  7. Drop the balls into a pot of boiling water and give it a few stirs during cooking. When dough is cooked, it will rise to the surface (~3-5min).
  8. Meanwhile place the coconut in a deep dish and mix in a pinch of salt.
  9. Scoop the cooked dough into the coconut and swirl around to coat.
  10. Set aside to cool! Best enjoyed fresh as keeping overnight causes it to harden.

Simplification: Sweet potato amount can be increased for a softer texture, or eliminated altogether for a more chewy ball.

Announcement: Poorskinnychef’s onde-onde will be selling at Toko Indrani @ Salverdaplein frozen section 🙂  wheee~

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Steamed Sago Cake – Kueh Sagu

In Recipes, Singaporean on September 26, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I’ve been refraining as much as possible from buying new ingredients at the Asian supermarket, because they all come in packs of 500g – 1kg and I’m just about to move across town. Don’t want to be carting additional boxes of ingredients when I already have a massive amount of stuff to worry about. And so I decided to convert the remains of my packet of tapioca pearls into one of my favourite nyonya kueh for a recent international gathering. Steamed sago cake a.k.a. kueh sagu! But naturally, if I ever attempt to make anything, it’s of course ‘one of my favourites’, why else do I go through the effort then?


Just what is sago? And what are tapioca pearls and why do I seem to use it so interchangeably? NO, they are not FROG EGGS (in reference to their appearance) contrary to some Western belief that resulted from too much mischievous Asian teasing. Both are actually starches of very similar characteristics (transparent and chewy), and are produced in the form of granules or ‘pearls’ to be used conveniently for cooking. The former is obtained from the pith of the sago palm stem, while the latter is obtained from the cassava root. Nothing weird about it at all. Just starch, like potato starch, corn starch, wheat starch… made into a more convenient and potentially innovative form.

Yep, so here’s yet another green recipe (apart from ondeh ondeh and kueh dadar that I’ve been making frequently in the past year). It just happens that I never see any pressing need to obtain other colours for my recipes, apart from the green of my pandan paste. I hope that I’m not sending the wrong message that nyonya kueh are all green in colour, because they’re not and hopefully I will have a chance to show you soon 🙂


Kueh Sagu Recipe modified from here

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pearl sago / tapioca pearls
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • a few drops of pandan paste
  • 1/2 tsp pandan essence (or 1 tsp pandan essence + colouring)
  • 20g dessicated coconut with a pinch of salt mixed in

Method:

  1. Soak the pearls in a generous amount of water (1L maybe?) and leave aside for 1h. Will double to triple in volume.
  2. Drain away excess water then mix in sugar and pandan paste / essence.
  3. Transfer to a greased pot / bowl that fits in your steamer. Here’s how to do it if you don’t have a steamer.
  4. Steam on high heat for 20min.
  5. Cool and coat with dessicated coconut while cutting into bite-sized pieces.

Alternative spellings of the name: sago kueh / kuih sago

Variations on the recipe: create layers by splitting into 2 batches after flavouring with sugar and pandan essence. Add an additional few drops of pandan paste to colour one batch green. Steam the white layer for 10 min, then pour the green batch over and steam for another 20min.

Other variations: colour with other colours and make layers the same way, or use coconut palm sugar (gula melaka) in place of white sugar!

Kueh Dadar | Mamee Noodles

In Recipes, Singaporean on April 19, 2010 at 12:38 am

When you’re 10,000km away from home (or 9957km to be exact), some things from childhood have a special power to make you gasp with an irrational amount of joy and act with a ridiculous amount of irrationality (like paying $6 instead of $0.60 for a bite of dorayaki). Well, when you miss home as much as I do, and you want some ‘Mamee’ and ‘Dadar’, the next best option is to buy what you can, and make what you can’t.

Unlike Mamee that is pretty much an emo trip-to-my-childhood, I truly truly love nyonya kuehs. For flavouring ingredients as simple as coconut milk and palm sugar built on common starches like wheat, rice and tapioca, they have a taste and texture so irrepressibly addictive that I just can’t control myself every time I lay eyes on it (HY can vouch for that!). Best of all, it catapults me back home during those few moments of sensory indulgence for a quick and effective dose of anti-homesickness.


My two favourites are kueh dadar and ondeh ondeh, both of which I frequently make as my Singaporean ‘badge’ whenever I attend dinner parties. These ‘green coconut pancakes’ and ‘green bally thingies’ — as my European friends now refer to them– always elicits initial responses of surprise due to their unsettling green luminosity, yet it never takes much persuading to get the plate polished up. Anyway, it was kueh dadar this time — I’ll post on ondeh ondeh the next time I make it, though you’d already catch a glimpse of it in the background of my agar agar cake photo in the earlier post! 😉


Kueh Dadar Recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysia

Pancake

  • 120g flour
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp pandan (screwpine) paste or just green colouring as a lesser alternative

Filling

  • 80g Gula Melaka (palm sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 80 ml water
  • 120g shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  1. Dissolve the sugars in water in a saucepan and stir in the shredded coconut and corn starch till you get a moist golden brown coconut filling. Leave aside to cool.
  2. Sift flour and salt in a mixing bowl, combine a lightly beaten egg and coconut milk by lightly whisking with a hand whisk. Add the pandan paste and stir till you get a homogenous green pancake batter.
  3. Heat up a non-stick frying pan on medium-low heat and spoon 1-2 tbsp of batter into the centre. Swirl or use the base of the spoon to make a thin pancake of about 15cm in diameter.
  4. When the surface is dries out, transfer to a plate with the top surface facing down (this will be the outside of the Kueh Dadar)
  5. Place two teaspoons of coconut filling on the pancake and roll up like a spring roll.
  6. Best served immediately, but within the same day is fine!