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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Onde Onde (Buah Melaka)

Onde Onde, pronounced as 'onn-day onn-day' or also known as Buah Melaka by the Peranakans, originates from the state of Melaka.  These sweet balls of treat is one of the many Peranakan desserts and very popular with the locals.  We love these sweet morsels. It has a soft dough coated with lightly salted grated coconut and filled with natural flavors of Gula Melaka (the Pernakans call them Gula Tuak) as the filling.  Gula Melaka, otherwise known as Palm Sugar is made by first extracting the sap from the flower bud of a coconut tree.  Several slits are cut into the bud and a pot is tied underneath the bud to collect the sap.  Then the sap is boiled until it thickens after which, in the traditional way, it is poured into bamboo tubes between 3-5 inches in length, and left to solidify to form cylindrical cake blocks. Alternatively it can be poured into glass jars or plastic bags.  Here's how they look like.

The way to eat the onde onde is by popping the sweet ball into your mouth.  When you bite into it, the Gula Melaka filling will just burst and ooze into your mouth.  It's an explosion of flavors.  The saltiness of the coconut, the almost maple-like sweetness of the Gula Melaka and the chewiness of the dough.  So little ingredients and yet so rich in flavor.  Here's the recipe and step-by-step on how to make them.  Please enjoy!

Yields: 70-80 balls
500g glutinous rice flour (you can also use boiled mash sweet potatoes - 3 parts of sweet potatoes to 1 part of glutinous rice flour)
1  1/4 cup pandan juice (blend some pandan leaves or screwpine leaves with a little water, squeeze the  juice out. Add more juice as needed.)
1 1/2 tubes of Gula Melaka, chopped into small pieces
2 coconuts - grated coarsely without skin and mixed with a pinch of salt.

1. Mix pandan juice with the glutionous rice flour and mix to a dough. Cover dough with damp towel to avoid drying.
2. Bring a pot of boiling water, lower the heat to simmer gently, pinch out a ball of dough about the size of a lime, flatten it into a disc and drop it into the simmering water.  When the disc is cooked and rises to the surface, lift if out with a slotted spoon, shake off excess water and knead the cooked dough evenly back into the main ball of dough.

Chopped Gula Melaka                    Grated coconut mixed with a pinch of salt

3. Pinch off small balls of dough the size of calamansi limes and roll into smooth balls. Shape it into a flat disc and fill the center with chopped Gula Melaka. Pinch together the dough together to enclose and roll them gently to smoothen the ball, and drop them into the simmering water.
4. When the dough balls float to the top, carefully remove them with a slotted spoon and allow any excess water to drip off. Drop the balls into the grated coconut and roll them to coat evenly.  Transfer to serving plate.  

You can also store them in an air tight container and refrigerate them prior to serving if desired.


This is a definite thumbs up!  


  1. such a beautiful recipe and so well informative post. love this and feel like popping one in my mouth.

  2. nice :) i want to taste it :))))

  3. Absolutely fascinating. I'm so glad you included the process and the little gems of goodness to go along with it. I too feel like just "popping" one in my mouth.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  4. I love these little balls! They are selling at China town and I use to buy them before I learnt how to make it. I use mashed mung bean for the filling but I do love the palm sugar one as well. Btw, have you got a good recipe for kuih lapis?

  5. Sayanti, Inka & Louise..thank you for dropping in. I do hope you will try this recipe.

    Hi Veron, I certainly do have the Kuih Lapis or Kuih Genggang recipe..I shall share with you soon.

  6. Looks fabulous & so tempting, would love to have a bite!

  7. looks tempting & delicious...mouthwatering!

  8. These look delicious, I just wish I could find them here...always great to learn something new from you!

  9. I am really intrigued. This sounds delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  10. Yum! Yum! When is the next round? Bikin lebih sikit!

  11. i have a weakness for stuffed desserts and these are unlike anything i have eaten before. i love how a burst of flavor would come into my mouth as i bite into them! :D

  12. Looks so delicious!! I have tasted this in Singapore,but didnt know the recipe...seems I can try at home

  13. They look scrumptious! I always have a soft spot for the sticky glutinous rice treats.

  14. It sounds interesting and delicious!I would love to try them!

  15. These are always my childhood's fav. I always miss the oozing liquid gula melaka at my first bite...

    Thanks for your lovely oneh oneh recipe. Hope to make these too for my childhood memory.


  16. oh, they have another name, buah melaka? i didnt know that! yes agree, it's just so heavenly savouring these little bites in the mouth!!

  17. Oh! I LOVE this so much! You're so lucky to get fresh coconuts & gula melaka to make this sedaplicious treat! Drooling! :)


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