Monday, October 09, 2006

Junk food of the week: Kelepon

I actually made some of these back in Indiana, before we left for Jakarta. When our boss, Will, popped one in his mouth, he promptly burst out laughing. I don't think I've ever gotten quite that kind of reaction to something I cooked.

Kelepon are about the size of a ping-pong ball and consist mostly of a dough made of rice starch with a little water and oil. They're really, really chewy so trying to eat one whole can be a little alarming - like trying to chew 20 pieces of gum at once. You don't want to bite it in half, on the other hand, because it has a surprise inside: a little ball of liquidized palm sugar that squirts out.

Kelepon are covered in coconut and the green color of the dough comes from pandan leaf flavoring, commonly used in desserts here. I found them bizarre at first but they're kind of growing on me.


michele said...

I've always thought that gooey centers to anything are a little creepy. partly because I don't understand how they got there.

but I like coconut, so that's a plus.

did you ever find out why your boss laughed?

Nee said...

I like those little buggers.

I'd say 20 pieces of gum analogy unjustly extreme. :(

kopisusu2 said...

I think he was surprised by the simultaneous chewiness and squirtiness. It's a potent combination.

I stand by the gum analogy, and I never thought desserts were susceptible to insult, but I apologize if I've stepped on the toes of any kelepon or kelepon fans. I like the little buggers too.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, they look like something that might grow on someone....or in them....

Stan J.

Nicole said...

I laughed out loud reading this and remembering that!

They do create the kind of reaction of complete surprise to the point where you don't really know what else to do but laugh.

You should post the recipe.