Klepon – Indonesian glutinous rice balls with palm sugar and coconut

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Klepon

Klepon is a sweet snack made of glutinous rice flour with palm sugar filling and coated with grated coconut. 

These deliciously chewy sweet treats are very popular in Java, Indonesia. 

You can find street food sellers who do Klepon in most traditional markets across Java. It’s one of the well-known Jajanan Pasar which means savoury snacks and sweet treats that are sold in traditional markets.


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two plates of Klepon - Indonesian dessert made of glutinous rice flour - with overlay text

There are hundreds of foods sold as Jajanan Pasar. Every market in each region of Indonesia has its own traditional snacks and sweets. But some have similarities or are exactly the same.

History of Klepon

Historically, Klepon is an influence of Indonesian Chinese food. It’s an improvisation of Chinese’s mochi. 

The difference lies in the filling and the coating. 

Mochi in Indonesia has sweet peanut filling and is coated with cornflour. 

Whilst Klepon has palm sugar on the inside with grated coconut on the outside. 

But the glutinous rice bit has exactly the same texture. 

Oh, another thing, Klepon is flavoured with the extract of Suji leaves and Pandan leaves. 

Indonesian glutinous rice balls - klepon

Key ingredients

Glutinous rice flour

In the olden days, Indonesian people had to pound the glutinous rice themselves to make Klepon. Now, you can easily get glutinous rice flour from Asian shops in Chinatown, or online.

Rice flour

Likewise, you can get rice flour from an Asian shop or online. You only need a little bit of rice flour for the recipe. Just ⅕ portion of glutinous rice flour, that is 50 grams.

Pandan extract

Traditionally, Indonesian people use Suji leaf to colour the sweet dishes. And this leaf is almost always paired with a Pandan leaf. Because the two leaves have a similar fragrance that enhances each other.

But to make life easier, I use ready-made Pandan extract that I can buy online. It does the job and makes my Klepon tastes and looks exactly the same as the one I had in Indonesia.  

Palm sugar or soft dark brown sugar

In Indonesia, lots of sweet dishes use palm sugar. But here, in the UK, it’s not easy to find it. So I substitute it with soft dark brown sugar. 

Salt

A little salt in sweet dishes makes the flavour way better.

Slaked lime water

It is basically a Calcium Hydroxide. It is used to help the glutinous rice stay soft and chewy. You only need a tiny bit of Slaked lime. For this recipe, you just mix ⅛ tsp of slaked lime powder (Calcium Hydroxide) with 2 tablespoons of water.

Water

I used a cup and a tablespoon of water for this recipe. I suggest you put the water little by little as you work on the dough. Add more water a teaspoon at a time if your dough is too dry. 

Mix and knead well after each addition. Take care not to put too much water.

Coconut

The original recipe uses freshly grated coconut that steamed before using. But for this recipe, I use dry desiccated coconut. 

Honestly, I don’t find any difference whatsoever from the Klepon that I had when I was in Indonesia. In fact, using desiccated coconut makes the Klepon stay fresh longer.

Because freshly grated coconut has moisture that makes the coconut go off very quickly. Even if you steam the coconut beforehand, your Klepon will only last a few days when stored in the fridge/ refrigerator.

How to make Indonesian glutinous rice balls stuffed with sugar and coated with coconut

glutinous rice flour dough for making Klepon
1. Mix and need all the ingredients except coconut and sugar
glutinous rice flour ball
2. Take a tablespoon of the dough and shape it into a ball
Klepon dough flattened
3. Flatten the dough
sugar on the glutinous rice flour mixture
4. Put a teaspoon of sugar in the centre of the dough
glutinous rice mixture with sugar
5. Cover the sugar with the edges of the dough
Boiling the Klepon
6. Boil the klepon until they float and cooked
Ready boiled klepon
7. Take the balls out
The glutinous rice balls rolled on desiccated coconut
8. Roll the klepon on desiccated coconut

The first time I made Klepon I was so surprised with how easy and simple it was. 

First, you make the dough by mixing all the dry ingredients and then add the slaked lime water and the water. Mix and knead the mixture until you it doesn’t stick on your hand and has a soft-to-touch texture like children playing dough.

Secondly, take one tablespoon of the dough and shape it into a ball. Flatten the dough and put a teaspoon of brown sugar in the centre. Cover the sugar with the edges of the dough and shape the dough back into a ball. This time, a bigger ball. 

Thirdly, boil about 1-1.5 litre of water in a cooking pot. When the water boils, put the dough balls in the water. When they float on the water surface, let them cook further for another 2-3 minutes before you take them out.

Fourthly, Roll the cooked Klepon balls on the desiccated coconut. Enjoy.

two plates of klepon - Indonesian glutinous rice balls

Top tips to make deliciously chewy Klepon

  • Grease your hands with a little oil before working on the dough to make the balls.
  • With just a drop of oil, grease a plate to put the ready cooked glutinous rice balls before rolling them on the coconut.

The recipe

Klepon - Indonesian glutinous rice balls

Klepon

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Klepon is sweet snacks and dessert from Indonesia that are made of glutinous rice flour with brown sugar filling and are coated with coconuts. The soft and chewy balls are lovely to enjoy with your afternoon cuppa.

Ingredients

  • 250 gr/ 8.82 oz glutinous rice flour.
  • 50 gr/ 1.76 oz rice flour.
  • ½ tsp salt.
  • 3 tsp slaked lime water.
  • 2 tsp pandan extract.
  • 1 cup/ 240 ml/ 8.12 fl.oz water.
  • 80 gr/ 2.82 oz palm sugar/ dark brown sugar.
  • 40 gr/ 1.41 oz desiccated coconut.

Instructions

  1. Put the glutinous rice flour, rice flour, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir well. Then add the slaked lime water and water. Mix well and knead thoroughly until you get a pliable dough. If it’s too dry you can add 1-2 teaspoon of water. Take care not to add too much. So make you knead well between adding more water.
  2. Take a tablespoon of the dough and shape it into a small ball. Flatten it until it’s about 0.5 cm/ 0.2 inch thick. 
  3. Carefully put a teaspoon of sugar in the centre of the dough. Cover the sugar with dough edges and shape the dough back into a ball.
  4. Boil about 1 litre/ 35.2 fl.oz water in a cooking pot. When the water boils, put the klepon balls in the water carefully. Gently stir to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Once the balls float around the surface of the water, leave it to cook for another 2 minutes. Then using a slotted spoon, take the cooked rice balls out. Make sure you drain all the water.
  6. Put the balls on a plate that has been greased with a little oil until they are cool enough to handle.
  7. Lastly, roll the klepon balls on the coconut. 

Notes

  • Grease your hands with a little oil before working on the dough to make the balls.
  • With just a drop of oil, grease a plate to put the ready cooked glutinous rice balls before rolling them on the coconut.

Nutrition Information
Yield 20 Serving Size 1 Amount Per Serving Calories 70Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 69mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 1gSugar 5gProtein 1g

The nutrition calculation you find here is just a guide provided by online nutrition calculator. You should not use to substitute advice from nutritionists or health practitioners.

Did you try the recipe?

Share how you like the recipe in the comments below and show a picture of your creation

Related posts

I surely hope you are now interested to try this recipe. If you do, please share what you think about it in the comments below. You can also share the pictures of your creation. It will be awesome and beneficial for others to see.

Feel free to share the recipe, and I would love you to follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest to find out what’s cooking in my kitchen 😊.

Last but not least, don’t forget to check my other Jajanan Pasar recipes that you may love.

Thank you and all the best.


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