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Klepon (Sticky Rice Ball Stuffed with Palm Sugar)

Posting Date: 04/09/17

Klepon (Sticky Rice Ball Stuffed with Palm Sugar)

Klepon (Sticky Rice Ball Stuffed with Palm Sugar) was originally from Java in Indonesia. You can also find it in Singapore and Malaysia and it is called Onde Onde. It is made of glutinous rice flour with a sweet surprise inside, which is liquid palm sugar. Every Indonesian children know how to eat it properly. You are supposed to pop the whole thing inside your mouth and chew it with your mouth closed. Failure to pop whole ball inside the mouth will cause the liquid palm sugar to drip. If you don't chew it with your mouth closed, the liquid palm sugar will spray out of your open mouth. Because of that, klepon is always made small enough so that you can put the whole thing inside your mouth but big enough so that the ball has enough palm sugar to make it sweet.

Traditionally, klepon has green color which comes from pandan leaves. However, lately I have seen people using other colors. For this recipe, I use pandan essence or paste, instead of pandan leaves because of the difficulty to find pandan leaves in the Asian stores. Pandan paste or essence is sold in a small bottle. If your Asian store has an aisle that sells Indonesian stuffs, you will be able to find it there. If not, you can use green food coloring.

This recipe makes about 10 klepon balls.


  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 2 drops pandan essence or paste. If you cannot find it, you can substitute with green food coloring. You can use other color; however, traditionally it is green because of the color of pandan leaves.
  • 10 tablespoons water
  • vegetable oil to grease the plate
  • 8 teaspoons grated palm sugar. Palm sugar is normally sold in a round piece or a block. Use a box grater to grate it or you can use knife to shave it if you don't own a box grater. If you cannot find palm sugar, you may substitute it with brown sugar.
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut flakes


  1. Put glutinous rice flour in a bowl. Add pandan paste to the rice flour. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Using rubber spatula, mix the flour mixture. If the flour still doesn't come together like a dough, add 2 more tablespoons of water. Keep adding more water by a tablespoon and mixing the flour with rubber spatula until the flour comes together like a dough and the dough has a uniform green color. It normally takes about 8 to 10 tablespoons of water to have dough consistency. The dough should not be shinny green. It should look dull green. If the dough looks shinny, it means you have added too much water and thus, the dough will be very sticky and hard to work with. If this happens, add 1 tablespoon of glutinous rice flour to the dough and mix the mixture with rubber spatula. Keep adding more flour until it becomes less shinny and the flour comes together.
  2. Lightly oil a plate.
  3. Lightly flour your hand so that the dough will not stick to your hand. Take about 1 teaspoon of the dough and place it on the palm of your hand. With your finger, flaten it to shape it like a disc. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of palm sugar on the middle of the disc. Bring all edges up and pinch the edges so that the sugar is inside and sealed in. Using the palm of your hand, roll it gently so that it shapes like a ball with about 1" diameter. Place it on the oiled plate. Repeat this step until all dough has been used.
  4. Place coconut flakes on a plate.
  5. Heat up water in a pot. Bring it to boil. Once the water is boiling, gently drop the balls in the boiling water. Do not overcrowd the pot. You may have to do it in batches if your pot is small. Once the balls float to the top of the water, cook them for 1.5 minutes more. Using a sloted spoon, remove the balls, drain as much liquid, and place them on the coconut flakes plate. Roll them so that each ball is coated with coconut. Repeat this step with the remaining uncooked balls.
  6. Let them cool down before serving them. Otherwise, the palm sugar will be hot and may burn your mouth.

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