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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ondeh Ondeh Kosong - Sweet Potato Balls

Onde Onde Gosong

Onde Onde Gosong 3

Ondeh Ondeh Gosong2

A few weeks ago, when my colleague from the US was here for a customer call, I had taken him to True Blue Cuisine, a Nonya (Straits Chinese) restaurant. The ambience was breathtaking and showcased the vibrancy of the Peranankan Culture in a most splendid way. I have taken bold liberty to paste 2 photos from their website to make up for the inadequacy of my description of the restaurant.

True Blue Cuisine

We ordered the signature Nonya dishes (Ayam Buah Keluak, Nonya Chap Chye, Beef Rendang, Ngoh Hiang) - they did not disappoint but to be honest, I had tasted better Nonya Cuisine along Katong Upper East Coast Road. There was one dish, however, that left an impression and that was the Kosong Ondeh Ondeh. This was Ondeh Ondeh (boiled sweet potato ball rolled in grated coconut) without the Gula Melaka (palm sugar) filling. I was struck by the softness and the simple taste and have kept dreaming about going back just for the Ondeh Ondeh.
Coincidentally, earlier this week, when I was shopping at a Japanese Supermarket in town, they were promoting their air flown sweet potato from Japan. Unwittingly, I picked 2 tubers after tasting the samples offered to me by the sales promoter. I so regreted it as they were quite expensive. I ended up feeling rather stupid to have paid that kind of money for 2 pieces of  'poor man's food' . (And no, I am not disclosing how much I paid for them, too embarrassing)

To put them to some good use, I decided to try my hand at replicating what I ate at True Blue Cuisine. I googled for a recipe and found the post by Baking Mum with the most fitting description to what I am trying to achieve.

I used 1/2 of a tuber for this initial experiment. I must say that the sweet potato tasted really good on its own after steaming. Encouraged, I went ahead to work with Baking Mum's recipe. The end result was not as soft as I had wanted - possibly for 2 reasons :
1. Mine did not have any filling. I believe the juiciness of the Gula Melaka filling would have yielded a softer texture.
2. I probably did not master the right amount of water to be added to the dough.

As a result of which, I felt my Ondeh Ondeh was a little on the chewy side. To repeat this again, I would :

1. Reduce the ratio of Tapioca flour to Sweet Potato ( probably just 10% of Tapioca flour to bind)
2. Add more water to get a softer dough.

Anybody else out there who has better experience with this, please do advice. I would greatly appreciate it for I still have one-and-a-half sweet potato to play with....;-)


WendyinKK said...

Malaysian Nyonya ondeh ondeh uses glutinous rice flour with sweet potato. Never have I heard anyone using tapioca flour.

What I've learnt from my secondary school's home science class, was that to mix just enough g.r.flour to knead the sweet potato (until a ball can be formed) and enough pandan juice to green it up. Everything was by feel :) No exact measurements.

WendyinKK said...

Oh ya, forgot to mention that the "ready to roll" texture shouldn't be like raw "tang yuan", it is softer. Just add enough g.r.flour until u can roll into balls. Make the pandan juice as concentrated as u can, so that u don't need to put in too much g.r. flour. I've got a post on concentrated pandan juice, if u like to see.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Thank you Wendy! Your advice comes so timely. I am going to try with your advice today.

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures and recipes. Wishing you a very happy new year :)

Trissa said...

This looks very similar to a recipe that I used to eat as a child - it must have been influenced by this dish. It looks delicious - a handy recipe in case I try my hand at it in the future!

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

I made this for my class party when I was 16! Brought back lots of memories just looking at your pretty ondeh ondeh :) Wishing you a wonderful 2010, Shirley! May you and your family be blessed with good health and happiness in the New Year!


yours deliciously said...

Looks lovely..Happy New Year

Irene's Footprints said... mentioned poor man's food, and it turned out so well. The picture itself already said so!

Not sure if you have tasted the one at Maxwell food Centre (it will be completely sold out before 1 or 1 plus pm when the lunch crowd forms) and the cake shop near Tiong Bahru Market. It melts in the mouth. Do try if you are somewhere near there.

: )

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Irene, Happy New Year to you! Thanks for the recommendation again. Looks like you know where all the good food are in Singapore...I still need to seek out the ang ku kueh at Everton Park!

WendyinKK said...

Hey, how did the 2nd attempt go???
Anxious to know :)

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Aiyah, not yet. Sweet potato is still there. I better get to it quick before the shoots start growing from the tuber.


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