These Sweet Potato Rice Balls are addictive little sweet dessert treats. There’s a hidden sweet surprise inside these Ondeh Ondeh.
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Rice. Noodles. Yum.
Sweet Potato Rice Balls (Ondeh Ondeh) from Abigail Sotto Raines’ new cookbook Rice. Noodles. Yum. Everyone’s favorite Southeast Asian dishes.
I’m very excited to share with you today, my lovely friend’s new cookbook. I’ve known Abby for a several years; she writes the blog Manila Spoon. And now I get to share my cookbook review with you.
Abby has written a great, easy to follow book that’s filled with delicious Asian noodle and rice dishes.
Her book has 75 recipes, each with a picture (which is super important to me!).
The cookbook is filled with great recipes like this one! There are also fantastic recipes for authentic dishes like Pad See Ew, Mee Kati, and Goi Cuon.
These are great authentic recipes. They will inspire a trip to your local Asian market to gather ingredients so you can make these dishes right away! This is a must get book for anyone who loves Asian food!
I chose to make abby’s Sweet Potato Rice Balls (Ondeh Ondeh) from the sweet cravings chapter of the book.
These are fun, and really different than most Americans are used to. So, I thought I’d share something fun and out of the ordinary.
Of course, I had to take some time to make one of the more traditional noodle dishes for myself for dinner.
I also made her Easy Mie Goreng or Indonesian Stir-Fried Noodles from page 106 of the book.
I used fried tofu in mine and not prawns or shrimp. It was delicious! We will make this one again and again. And, it’s nice and easy to make. I might have to buy a big wok so I can make it more often!
Recipe ingredient notes
The sweet potatoes are just the regular red or orange fleshed sweet potatoes that come from the grocery store.
I tried to buy purple sweet potatoes from the Asian market, as I thought they would be beautiful!
But alas, when I cut into the purple skinned sweet potatoes, I found them to be simply white inside. So, off to the regular grocery store I went to get orange sweet potatoes. And they are just as tasty.
Sticky or glutinous rice flour
Sticky or glutinous rice flour is something you should be able to find at a well stocked Asian market or international market. You can also order it from Amazon.
It’s different than regular plain rice flour, and they will produce different textures, so be sure to get sticky or glutinous rice flour.
Dark palm sugar or coconut sugar
Dark palm sugar or coconut sugar might also be found at a well stocked Asian market.
Palm sugar and coconut sugar (which is a type of palm sugar) is an unrefined sweetener that’s often sold in solid form like blocks, that need to be grated, shredded (like on the large holes of a box grater), softened, or melted.
Unfortunately for me, my store did not have dark palm sugar. I purchased palm sugar instead, and I’m super impressed by the flavor. It’s not just sweet like granulated white sugar. It’s complex and I wanted to eat it just like candy.
Palm sugar has a similar taste to regular dark brown sugar, which can be used as a substitute if you can’t find palm or coconut sugar.
Flaked or shredded coconut
I used this kind of flaked coconut, which you can easily buy at most grocery stores.
If using dried coconut, simply steam over boiling water for 15 minutes to rehydrate.
I used coconut milk and not water in my dough. I love the flavor of coconut milk, and I think it made the dessert balls tasty!
To steam the sweet potatoes, I placed the peeled and sliced spuds in the steamer basket for my rice cooker. Fill the bowl of the rice cooker about 1/3 full of water, cover, and turn the rice cooker on cook. Wait for the water to boil, and the place the steamer basket over the boiling water and recover the potatoes.
Once the sweet potatoes were tender enough to easily pierce with a fork, I passed them through the potato ricer, which made short work of mashing them.
Techniques and methods
I found it easier to work with the dough if I floured my hands with the glutinous rice flour, as the dough is a little sticky. Also, I floured the work surfaces.
I used a cookie dough scoop to easily scoop out the 1 tablespoon of sweet potato dough.
I placed the filled dough balls onto parchment paper as I made them all, and I placed the boiled treats on a separate sheet of parchment paper after they came out of the boiling water and were rolled in the coconut.
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Sweet Potato Rice Balls (Ondeh Ondeh) Recipe
Sweet Potato Rice Balls (Ondeh Ondeh)
- Steam the sweet potatoes over rapidly boiling water for 10-20 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Mash the cooked potatoes, then measure about 1 ½ cups of the mashed sweet potatoes. (You may have some left over.) Mix the mashed potatoes with the rice flour. Pour the coconut milk or water, 1 tablespoon at a time into the potato and flour mixture, and knead until a smooth, pliable dough forms.
- Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of the dough, and shape it into a small ball, creating a well or hollow space in the center using your thumbs. Place about ¾ to 1 teaspoon of shaved palm sugar in the center of the well. Fold the edges of the dough up over the sugar, and reshape into a ball. Make sure that the sugar does not leak out on any side. Repeat until all the dough is used up. Set aside.
- Fill a medium saucepan about halfway with the water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat, then gently drop the balls into the water, working in batches. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the balls begin to float to the surface. Scoop the floating rice balls out of the boiling water with a strainer, and shake off the excess water, then roll in the flaked coconut.
- Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold from the fridge.