Onde Onde (Klepon) is made of glutinous rice flour and stuffed with Gula Jawa/dark Palm sugar, boiled, then rolled in grated coconut. As simple as it is, it is my favorite. The moment you sink your teeth into one of these delectable little balls, the melted Gula Jawa inside the Onde Onde will burst inside your mouth. You are in for a great surprise.
I went in for a long overdue hair cut only to find out that the girl who always cut my hair had moved to Seattle. I love being able to go there, sat down, and she knew how short I wanted it and I’ve always kept the same style for the past 7 years! (I’m boring like that!) But life isn’t always all about being convenient and dealing with the same person all the time aye ? I went ahead for a hair cut anyway. The hair seriously couldn’t wait another second to be trimmed off!!! As usual the new girl (well, new to me!) cut my hair and we made small talks here and there. She asked me what my occupation was. I told her I was a SAHM. She was like “Oh..that’s cool. So, what do you do in the afternoon? like..nap, or drink tea, massage ???”
You know when I first heard that question, I seriously didn’t know if I wanted to be angry or I just wanted to burst out laughing ! I just said “I wish I could nap and drink tea, but there are just so many things to do and the time just passed by so fast”. In my experience as a SAHM for the past 6 years, actually this wasn’t the first time that people think SAHM does nothing much but put their feet up at home. I wanted to be angry when I heard that question at first, but then I didn’t! It bothered me but I was pretty composed and still tipped her as she did a good job with cutting my bushy hair!
But then why does it bother me sometime ?
Perhaps some people think that being a SAHM is an easy job (and usually they don’t do much of anything!). Perhaps it’s the ego in me that being regarded as unimportant in this society. When everyone left the house in the morning, the house is in a less chaotic mode but it will progress into a shipwreck situation towards the end of the day. And in between those morning and the end of the day is when a SAHM who supposingly could put her feet up, a hot tea on one hand and a good book on the other, is trying to clean the house (while the kids are dispersing bread crumbs all over the carpet behind me while I’m vacuuming), catching up with laundries, cooking/baking, replying emails, running errands, blogging (if possible at all!). So, when the husband came home from work, the house looks like a tornado has just passed by.
I gave the husband an earful really!! I’m thankful for a good listener like himself. I know I shouldn’t be bothered by what other people think. I know it’s the thing I wanted to do before the kids were born. I knew from the beginning I wanted to stay at home with them. I don’t like the many house chorus I have to do, but I’m not the only one having to do that. There are many tantrums I have to deal with at home. A 3-year old literally clinging on my leg while I’m trying to get things done. It’s really not the prettiest and perfect scenarios I had imagined being a parent. I can really just quit this SAHM position and go back to work if I want to. The REAL question is “Do I want to?” The immediate answer is NO. I somehow grateful for this messy life I have. I do get cuddles from the kids sometimes (not always, but enough to carry me through day by day!!). “You cook the best food mama” is making me flying at cloud 9. All of these are so cliche I know but oh so true how they make you feel. So…I may have this non-paid-around-the-clock-job. I take it not because I want to feel important. It’s the kids. It’s all about them. This is a strangely rewarding job despite all I’ve said. Go figure !!
My daughter loves this Onde Onde or Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls I made. I was thrilled that she does because another reason of me cooking so much is that so I can share with my kids the food I grew up eating (I think I’ve said that 10,000 times! forgive me!) Onde onde is one of the popular snack/dessert in Southeast Asia. It was also one of my Dad’s favorite sweets. Making this Onde Onde was rather a bittersweet feeling. Sweet because it was so easy to make and such a tasty snack. Bitter because I don’t think I have yet fully recovered from losing my Dad 6 years ago and this reminded me of him. I know he’s smiling from up there seeing me making this Onde Onde. This is for you Dad (and your two grandkids you’ve never met in person)
Onde Onde (Klepon)
- 10 oz glutinous rice flour/Mochiko flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2-3 drops of green food coloring or you can use pandan paste
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup gula jawa/dark palm sugar coarsely chopped/shaved
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut steamed for 1 minute
Mix the glutinous rice flour, salt, food coloring and start with 1/2 cup water and gradually add until you can shape into a workable non sticky dough. Shape into a workable dough. It should not be sticky to your hand. Divide the dough into 15-20 small doughs and shape into small balls
Work with one dough at a time while keeping the rest covered with damp cloth, flatten each dough with your palm and make an indentation in the middle of the ball with your finger and fill with about 1/4 tsp or more of the chopped gula jawa and enclose it and shape back into a small ball. Repeat with the rest of the balls
Bring a largepot of water to a boil over moderate heat. Add the balls, one by one and cook for about 2-3 minutes. When the balls float to the surface, you know they are done and the sugar inside the Onde Onde will have melted inside. Remove with a slotted spoon and roll in the shredded coconut. Serve at room temperature, as a dessert or your afternoon tea snack
Recipe NotesThese onde onde are best served on the same day as the dough will harden. But if you have leftover and store them in the fridge, you can just reheat them in the steamer again