Klepon (sweet, Stuffed Rice Balls)

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About: Justin Tyler Tate is an artist, designer, animator, teacher, jeweler and maker/hacker who produces with thoughts of culture, science and interactivity.

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

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

TOOLS:

  • 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.

*This instructable has been a collaborative effort between Mo Chieh and Justin Tyler Tate

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28 Discussions

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PattyP17

2 years ago

This looks very yummy! Must try soon. Am I correct that the rice may be called "sticky rice" or "sweet rice" In the USA? My husband tried making these from a different recipe some time ago and they did not come out quite right.

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Justin Tyler TatePattyP17

Reply 2 years ago

Hi patty, yes glutinous rice is also called sticky rice,sweet rice or waxy rice. Good luck!

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animal lover

2 years ago

Sorry, this is a stupid question. Do you soak cooked rice, or raw rice? Thanks. :)

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Garggle

2 years ago

Hello I'm very interested by your recipe but I don't understand the filling with dark sugar. You just put cristallized sugar ? Or some sort of caramel ?

Thank you

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Justin Tyler TateGarggle

Reply 2 years ago

You put crystallized dark sugar in and then when you boil them (Step 7), the sugar melts on the inside.

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JamalA19

2 years ago

It's a recipe for a nice and simple. I wish you success

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immux

2 years ago

wow.. that's one of my favorite food in my country.. yummyy

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Oscelot

2 years ago

Oh man, can you imagine how delicious this would be with red bean paste in the middle? Mmmm! Must try!

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giedrius.dyra

2 years ago

Hi, we do not use microwave so just wondering how could I replace it with oven? is it the main thing to evaporate liquid away? thanks

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nandrew

2 years ago

Pandan is a flavor that is represented by the color green in some pastry/goodies from Indonesia. To me it has a flavor that has vanilla/citrus/spicy notes that go well with with sweets.

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Justin Tyler Tatenandrew

Reply 2 years ago

Yea, I kind-of left out Pandan from the recipe because I thought it would be too hard to find for most people...and they are still so good without it.

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muhammad.sulila

2 years ago

Wow nice to know that my favorite cake usually sell in the traditional market ( pasar malem) . I do not know that reciepe but in other side of the world Justin TT know so well . proud of you .

1 reply

Thank you very much! I have had many sweets from many places around the world and Klepon are truly one of my favorites.

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swafo

2 years ago

If you don't have a microwave, would there be any issue with cooking on a low heat on the stove (covered)?

1 reply
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Justin Tyler Tateswafo

Reply 2 years ago

I'm not sure because I only know this method but I think you should try.

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dpizetta

2 years ago

Nice, I'll have a try. This recipe is similar to our "beijinho" and "arroz doce (rice pudding)", and would be delicious :) Tks for sharing.

Beijinho recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/130689/beijinho-de-co...

Rice pudding: rice cooked in milk and sugar and some clovers for a different flavor.