Sweet Coconut Glutinous Rice Balls ( Len Olen )

June 17, 2012

Sweet Coconut Glutinous Rice Ball ( Len Olen ) is traditional cakes/snack originally from Madura Island, Its an Indonesian island off the north eastern coast of Java which separated from Java by the narrow Strait of Madura. The cake (kue) made from glutinous rice, steamed, toppled with fresh grated coconut and then drench with coconut sugar syrup as a traditional sweetener for thousands years especially most used in Southeast Asia.

The flavor and it presentations really give an impression, the use of glutinous rice, freshly grated coconut and the coconut sugar are represented the quintessence of Indonesia archipelago.

I grew up with these scrumptious cakes (kue) that my mother used to make for us, the variation of the morning humble breakfast and afternoon snacking absolutely unrivaled. 

I want to bring back the cake and memories today, recalling those days, our sweet tooth absolutely pampered. Everyone eager to see my mother bamboo tray filled with the most delicious traditional Cake (kue) and it has always been a target for all of us at the particular snacking time.

I have to agree with my mother viewpoint as she told me that never ever done over modified an ancestral heritage recipes, it would definitely loose it authentically. 
It should remain simple and humble to always be a noble traditional delight, forever!


Sweet coconut glutinous rice balls (Len Olen)
Makes 8 balls

Ingredients for glutinous rice balls

1 cup glutinous rice
1 cup fresh grated coconut, thaw out if frozen
¼ teaspoon salt

Ingredients for coconut sugar syrup

½ cup shaved coconut sugar (substitute palm sugar or brown sugar)
1/3 cup water
1 ½ teaspoon corn starch (dissolves with 1 1/2  tablespoons water)
1 Pandan leaf, cut
Tiny pinch of sea salt


Direction how to make Coconut sugar syrup
Place the water, shaved coconut sugar and pandan leaf in a saucepan
Over medium heat, bring it to a boil until the sugar completely dissolves
Add in corn starch mixture, stir gradually until the mixture has thickened.
Removes from the heat, set aside to cool.


Wash clean glutinous rice and soak for 15minutes

Line a steamer with banana leaves or cheese cloth.
*if using baking paper, wet with water and lined

Spread the soaked glutinous rice evenly on the banana leaves/cheese cloth/wet baking paper.

Steam for 20-25minutes, turn over using a wooden spoon every 10minutes until cooked

When the rice is cooked, transfer into a bowl or tray, slight cooled but not completely cooled.

Wet a spoon or rubber spatula with water, 
divide cooked glutinous rice into 8 equal portions.

Place fresh grated coconut onto a plate, mix with salt make sure it well season

Wet your hands with water, shape up the glutinous rice into a ball.

Roll each ball into grated coconut, make sure the glutinous rice balls are well coated

Arranges the glutinous balls in a serving plate, 
topped with the remaining fresh grated coconut, drench with coconut sugar syrup and serve 

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