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Ode to Ondeh Ondeh

A Poem to A South-East Asian Dessert

By Michelle LiewPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 1 min read

My inner Singaporean compels me to introduce everyone to another of my local dessert favorites, Ondeh Ondeh. These  to-die-for glutinous rice flour balls, filled with palm sugar and rolled in grated coconut, are a breakfast or dessert mainstay in Singapore and Malaysia. Pandan juice gives it a pleasant shade of green.

This dessert treat was at the table whenever my aunts popped in for visits. It is a little more difficult to find now, so you can still find it at selected restaurants and bakeries.

I use the Epulaeryu poetic format once again to pay tribute to this popular dessert. Here it is for those who are not familiar with it.

An Epulaeryu consists of seven lines in total.

Each line follows a specific syllable count:

The first line has seven syllables.

The second line has ten syllables.

The third line has seven syllables.

The fourth line has seven syllables.

The fifth line has ten syllables.

The sixth line has seven syllables.

The seventh line, also known as the "dessert line," summarizes the feeling or experience of the food and contains seven syllables.

Here is one:

Green mounds filled with joyful love

Are covered in grated sheets of white snow

Settle on pink rolling plane

That curls in frenzied delight

A savory explosion

Yet sugary addition

A treat both tangy and sweet.


About the Creator

Michelle Liew

Hi, i am an English Language teacher cum freelance writer with a taste for pets, prose and poetry. When I'm not writing my heart out, I'm playing with my three dogs, Zorra, Cloudy and Snowball.

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Comments (2)

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  • Andrea Corwin 2 months ago

    OMG, this poem is delectable!! I don’t like sticky sweet dates or starchy rice and not much for coconut (although my hubby loves it); I tried the Japanese mochi which tastes like starchy glue to me- but your poem makes my mouth water!!! Well done ❣️


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