Introduction: Klepon (sweet, Stuffed Rice Balls)
The first time I tried Klepon I couldn't stop eating them; the chewy rice body coated in coconut with a sweet surprise in the center. It's absolutely delicious. Klepon are traditionally an Indonesian dessert (though I learned about them in Taiwan) which is served during the month of Ramadhan during the fasting break...they are also traditionally filled with palm sugar and dyed green. Klepon utilizes simple ingredients, in an easy way, to make something really special.
Step 1: INGREDIENTS/TOOLS
- 2c part glutinous rice
- 2c part lukewarm water (you can also use coconut milk)
- 1c dark brown sugar, demera, palm sugar or white sugar
- 1c fresh-grated coconut, mixed with ½ tsp. salt
- 2-3 drops green food coloring (optional)
- a few drops of oil
- mixing bowls
- a fork
- a wooden spoon
- a large pot
- an emulsion blender
- cling/plastic wrap
- a microwave
Step 2: SOAK
- The first step in making Klepon is to soak the glutinous rice for at least 5 hours (or overnight).
Step 3: PUREE
- After your rice has soaked for at least a couple of hours, use your emulsion blender to turn the water/rice mixture into a smooth and creamy soup. If using food coloring, add a few drops to the rice and water before blending.
Step 4: COVER/MICROWAVE
- Cover your rice soup and microwave it on high until it becomes a thick paste. It took 7 minutes in my microwave.
- When finished, the finished product should be a thick paste, almost a dough.
Step 5: GREASE/MOVE
- Grease another bowl and move your rice paste/dough to that bowl.
Step 6: KNEAD
- Knead your rice dough while it cools. The mixture should be sticky but begin to hold its shape.
Step 7: ROLL/INDENT/FILL/CLOSE
- Grease your hands with a bit of oil. The rice dough is super sticky so oiling your hands will make it easier to work with.
- Roll the rice dough into a ball.
- Use your thumb to make an indent into the ball.
- Fill the indent with a dark sugar or the alternate filling listed in the next step.
- Fold the sides of the rice ball over the indent and filling to make it a complete ball again.
- Drop the balls into boiling water and remove them once they rise to the surface which should take about 30 seconds.
Step 8: *ALTERNATE FILLING
The traditional filling is to use dark sugar but if you don't have any, or you want something a bit less sweet, then you can make a mixture of butter, some sugar and coconut.
Step 9: ROLL AGAIN
- After you pull your rice balls from the boiling water, roll them in the desiccated coconut (mixed with ½ tsp. salt) so that they are evenly coated.
Step 10: SERVE
Serve your Klepon at room temperature...Enjoy the sticky, chewy texture of the rice ball coated with the tropical flavor of the coconut and the sweet, rich explosion of sugar in the center of the Klepon.