Thai Desserts Are Sweet, Sticky and Satisfying
Your travelers to Chiang Mai should plan to spend some time in the Chinatown district, and the best place to start is Kad Luang, traditionally called Kad Ton Lamyai, or today known as Warorot Market. The market is named after Inthawarorot, one of the last royal rulers of Chiang Mai and the Lanna Kingdom. Local Thai people know this is the best place to find local food and shop for a variety of products. Khiri Travel Thailand offers a visit to Warorot Market during a morning discovery of Chiang Mai.
Thai food outlets, local markets (such as the one in Chinatown above) and random street vendors have a large selection of sweet and delectable desserts. Thai desserts (khanom) are a sweet and sometimes very filling snack characterized by sweet, heavy syrups, coconut cream, tropical fruits and sweet, sticky rice.
These dessert dishes can be divided into a few categories to make it easier to navigate: sticky rice desserts, jelly/custard/gooey, soup/pudding, cakes/bread/pancakes, fruit/based, and ice cream. Ms. Pim in our Chiang Mai branch office describes a few of her most favourite ones:
• Khao neow toorien or durian coconut milk soup with sticky rice. Sticky rice with a chunk of Durian is surely one of the most unique Thai desserts. For those who love durian, nothing else will do!
• Khao tom mud or banana leaf sticky rice. It’s made from sticky rice, coconut milk, sugar, sweet black beans, all candied in a banana leaf wrapper and steamed for an hour.
• Khanom gluay or banana treat. Sticky rice, bananas, sugar and shredded coconut are made into a green treat.
• Khao lam or sticky rice in bamboo. Sticky rice is sweetened with black beans and thick coconut syrup and roasted in bamboo poles over low heat. In the old days, local villagers would sit around the fireplace and roast bamboo sticky rice instead of the more modern version–marshmallows. After the khao lam is roasted, it’s hacked open with a machete and ready to be served.
• Khao neow sang kaya or sticky rice with custard. This dessert consists of sweet sticky rice topped with a slice of creamy custard. It’s filling, rich, and delicious.
• Khanom krok or coconut rice dumplings. They are traditional coconut and rice flour dumplings cooked into little kettle cakes and often topped with a choice of green onions, sweet corn, taro, or just plain. Served hot, they will melt in your mouth.
• Khanom thien, sticky cake. Tapioca flour and peanuts made into a wet cake and wrapped in a banana leaf. Especially eaten during Chinese New Year in Thailand when you’ll see it all over the streets and markets.
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