malaysian dessert or snack onde-onde

Malaysian Kuih: Onde-onde

Onde-onde, my favourite of all the Malaysian kuih-muih because of the chewy texture of the glutinous rice balls, freshly grated coconut on the outside and the burst of oozing gula melaka on the inside. Seriously hands down better than any chocolate (and this is coming from a chocoholic!)

I would use freshly grated coconut if you can find it. If you’re living abroad like me, I use frozen grated coconut found in most asian grocers. Tip: The addition of 1/2 tsp salt is really important to enhance the flavour of the coconut. Really important!!

How to test if an onde-onde is perfect: Pop the onde-onde in your mouth and the onde-onde should explode with gula melaka in just one bite. And, the dough should not be too thick otherwise, it would just be bland, chewy rice balls.

Onde-onde is meant to be green…why are the onde-onde white/translucent in colour? Instead of using pandan extract for the green colour, I used tap water. If you can get hold of pandan extract, use that as it adds more fragrance and deliciousness to the onde-onde. If you can’t, I would just use water because colouring is just a big no-no for health reasons. You can be creative and use other natural colourings like beetroot (for red colour), turmeric (for yellow colour), blueberries (for purple colour) etc 🙂


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Sweet gula melaka filled onde-onde with slightly salted fresh desiccated coconut.



  • 60 g glutinous rice flour
  • 30 g tapioca flour/starch
  • 3 tbsps sugar
  • 60 ml pandan leaf extract
  • 50-100 g coconut (grated, otherwise use desiccated)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • coconut palm sugar (gula melaka), shaved


  1. Add 1/2 tsp of salt to the grated coconut and mix it well.
  2. In a bowl, mix glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour and sugar evenly
  3. Gradually add the pandan leaf extract to create a dough. If the dough is too soft, add more glutinous rice flour. The dough should be malleable and not stick to your hands.
  4. Divide the dough into 14 little balls. Yes, you got that right, 14 from the small piece of dough.
  5. Roll the dough flat using the tip of your thumb and index fingers. The dough should be about 0.20-0.25cm thin. It will expand during cooking time.
  6. Place the shaved gula melaka in the centre of the dough. Carefully use the edges of the dough to roll it up into a ball. (I find it is best to make small gula melaka balls using the shaved gula melaka to prevent the sharp edges of the gula melaka from cutting through the dough)
  7. Put the little balls into a pot of simmering water. When the little balls float upwards, leave it to simmer for a further 5 minutes to allow the palm sugar to melt thoroughly.
  8. Coat the little balls in the lightly salted desiccated coconut. (I would try one ball to test if the gula melaka has been melted fully. If not, allow the balls to simmer for another 3-5 minutes)
  9. Allow it to cool and enjoy!


Generation Kitchen


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