How to Make Vegan Kaya and Onde-Onde

So apparently all those praises about how my Twitch broadcasts are so much clearer compared to ones I did on FB Live were actually cloaked warnings about my data consumption.

In another example of unscripted television, Day One of Week 3 on Twitch was interrupted by an SMS from Telstra saying I’ve used up more than 85% of my mobile data, which means in the space of 2 weeks I’ve consumed pretty much all my data allowance for the entire month.

(If you’re wondering why I use mobile data for my livestreams, well that’s because like millions of Australians, I live in a suburb that’s infrastructurally stuck in the internet Dark Ages. So if you represent a mobile service provider who’s looking for a high priestess of Malaysian cuisine to plug your 4G mobile data plan in exchange for unfettered data, you know who to call.)

I’ve mentioned this a number of times in the past, but some of the recipes I attempt On Air are previously untested. This “vegan kaya” is one such example. You’ll have to watch the replay to find out why I wanted to make this, but in the interest of full disclosure, the end result tasted nothing like any kaya I’ve ever eaten.

It’s delicious, mind you, but who doesn’t love mashed sweet potato (which is essentially what it is). Baby Noah threw a tantrum when I tried to trick him into thinking it’s his beloved kaya with (homemade) bread, that’s how far off the mark it is.

Also as an FYI, I subsequently added a couple of spoonfuls of melted butter into half a cup of the kaya which made a huge improvement to its flavour and texture, though clearly if you were a vegan that would be problematic (you could try coconut oil, I guess).

Vegan Kaya Recipe


  • 1kg sweet potato, cut into chunks, steamed and mashed
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 200ml coconut cream
  • 300ml water
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Combine all ingredients in a deep pan.
  2. Simmer until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Transfer into a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.
  4. Allow to cool before storing in refrigerator.


vegan kaya

Onde-Onde Recipe


  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour
  • Water to make a soft, non-tacky dough
  • Several drops of pandan essence or colouring
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 100g dark brown palm sugar, grated
  • Water for boiling the dumplings


  1. Gradually add water to the glutinous rice flour while mixing it by hand, until you get a soft, non-tacky mixture. Fold in the pandan essence and knead for a minute or two.
  2. Start heating up some water in a pot.
  3. Roll up the grated palm sugar into marble-sized balls.
  4. Pinch the dough and roll into balls about 2cm in diameter.
  5. Stuff the dough with the palm sugar, seal, then drop into boiling pot of water.
  6. Repeat, making sure the onde-onde balls don’t get stuck on the bottom of the pot.
  7. Remove with slotted spoon when balls float to the top and remain there for at least 20 seconds.
  8. Transfer into bowl with desiccated coconut and toss.
  9. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.

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