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.