IMBB #14: Orange Onde Onde

Onde onde

Orange sweet potato onde onde balls.

What a fabulous choice of color! Orange is the theme for IMBB #14, hosted by the good people over at Foodgoat. The entry for my first ever participation is orange sweet potato onde onde, a sweet Indonesian kueh (pastry/snack). Commercial onde onde are usually green, because the dough is flavored and colored with the juice of pandan leaves. Here, I’ve made an alternative version using mashed sweet potato. Besides giving it a bright, cheery hue, the orange sweet potato also makes the chewy dough softer.

These cute little balls are so fun to eat. Just put one in your mouth, bite, and pop! The sweet gula melaka syrup encased in the chewy dough simply explodes in your mouth. Totally addictive.

Sweet Potato Onde Onde
adapted from Amy Beh’s pumpkin onde onde recipe

150g sweet potato, cubed, steamed until soft and mashed
200g glutinous rice flour
pinch of salt
100ml water
1 tbsp tapioca flour

Filling (combine):
100g grated gula melaka
1 tbsp sugar

200g grated coconut (white part only) and 1/4 tsp salt, then steam for 5 minutes and leave to cool. (This helps it to keep better.)


1. Bring water, salt and tapioca flour to a boil over low heat. Keep stirring until almost transparent.

Step 2

Knead mashed sweet potato into flour.

2. Pour the mixture immediately into the glutinous rice flour in a large mixing bowl. Stir till it is well absorbed. Add the mashed sweet potato and mix well to form a dough. If dough is too soft, add a little more glutinous rice flour. If it is too dry, wet your hands and knead the dough.

3. Divide dough into two and roll each portion into a longish roll. Cut into small pieces

Place gula melaka in center of dough.

Place gula melaka in center of dough.

4. Bring water to a boil in a deep saucepan. Roll the pieces of dough into small balls with your palms. Then flatten the ball and put a bit of the sugar mixture in the centre.

Pinch to seal edges tightly.

Pinch to seal edges tightly.

5. Pinch to seal, then roll again into spheres. Drop the balls into boiling water until they float to the surface (about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes)

Carefully remove the cooked onde onde.

Drain the onde onde with a strainer.

6. Remove the cooked balls with a tea strainer.

Carefully roll the onde onde in grated coconut.

Carefully roll the onde onde in grated coconut.

7. Roll in grated coconut to coat.




  1. Aggie says

    Oh yummy! Onde-onde is one of my absolute favourites! And now, I FINALLY know how to make it! Thanks!! It looks yummy! Sweet potato and coconut – what else can a gal wish for? =)

  2. says

    Hi Julia,
    Wow! This looks so good. I’m going to have to try this soon…. I have a book of kueh recipes and I think this is in there.

  3. says

    Looks delicious!!! Yum yum!
    pinkcoca – you can buy tapioca flour in packets near the flour area. I think in Chinese it’s called Shu Fen.

  4. says

    Found the following translation:
    Usually I see θŒ¨η²‰ or ζœ¨θ–―η²‰ on the bags.
    In English it’s Tapioca flour or Tapioca starch.

  5. says

    Hi Aggie,
    You forgot the gula melaka. πŸ™‚ Together with the sweet potato and coconut, they’re a killer combo!
    Hey Stephanie,
    Thanks, and I’m also glad that this is a snack that both vegetarians and omnivores can enjoy. πŸ™‚
    Thanks so much, and for being so encouraging, as usual. πŸ™‚
    Hi Reid,
    This is quite a popular kueh, and one of the easier ones to make too. Do give it a go and let me know how it turns out.
    Hey santos,
    Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚
    Hi pinkcocoa,
    I hope you’ll like this version with sweet potatoes. πŸ™‚ And mrs budak has already helped me out with your question!
    Hi mrs budak,
    Thanks for popping by! And many thanks too for the translation. πŸ™‚

  6. Shirley says

    Hi Julia,
    Other than the chewiness, I love it when the onde-onde pops and the gula melaka oozes out…slurp!

  7. says

    hi chronicler,
    awww…thanks! πŸ™‚
    Hi Min,
    Yes, it’s a Malay dessert. If I’m not wrong, the one with sweet potato is the Indonesian version. The other kind is green and pandan-flavored.
    Hi keiko,
    Thanks for dropping by. Actually, the syrup in these balls is quite sweet, but if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love them. πŸ™‚
    Hey Penny,
    Hi Shirley,
    The first time I ate onde onde, I didn’t pop the entire ball into my mouth. Without knowing about the gula melaka, I actually bit into the ball. Not a pretty sight! πŸ™‚

  8. says

    I can’t resist looking at those ondeh ondeh again. They are so pretty. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. says

    They sound, and look, so good! But I’m dying to know – WHAT is gula melaka?? I doubt I can find it, or the tapioca, or the rice flour for that matter – but it sure sounds intriguing! πŸ™‚

  10. kai says

    hey i was just food blog this place and have kept coming back to look at the lovely pics..really make overseas singaporeans like me miss singapore like crazy haha. but seriously this blog is great! πŸ™‚

  11. Jaime says

    Hi Julia,
    I’ve did the same and followed the same recipe except I did not use tapioca flour and I’ve used the entire packet of the glutinous flour, but mine when first cooked it was soft but when kept in the refigerator, it became hard like stone. Do you know why?

  12. says

    Hi Jaime,
    Don’t worry. It’s perfectly alright to omit the tapioca flour and use only glutinuous rice flour. The tapioca flour simply gives a more bouncy and chewy texture to the dough.
    Many Asian pastries and rice cakes are made of rice flour or glutinuous rice flour, and the dough is cooked either by boiling or steaming. When hot or cooled to room temperature, the rice dough is soft, sticky, and chewy.
    However, after being refrigerated, the cold dough becomes rock hard. Hence, rice cakes or pastries are best eaten on the day they are made. But if there are leftovers which you need to store in the fridge, you could gently steam them to restore them to their soft texture.

  13. Jaime says

    i chanced upon your site when i was searching for ondeh ondeh recipes. is this the original ondeh ondeh recipe? i’ve never had ondeh ondeh before, but my bf loves it and his bday is coming up. do u happen to have the original recipe? the one where the ondeh ondeh’s all green? thanks!