Delicious crispy half dumplings with a sweet gooey centre, these common treats are uniquely addictive
Words: Sarita Urupongsa
Crisp bite-sized pancakes with a sweet and gooey coconut core: there’s nothing quite like Thailand’s Khanom Khrok. Served up by street vendors and posh eateries alike, these delicious hot treats come either naked or dimpled with crunchy corn or (surprisingly) spring onions.
This delightful snack dates back to the Ayutthaya era (14th-18th centuries) and is depicted in old temple murals.
The basic ingredients are simple – rice flour, coconut milk, sugar and salt. A thin mixture of rice flour is first poured into the hot indented griddle. When the flour begins to harden, coconut milk is poured in to give the pancake its melt-in-mouth centre. Once ready, the bite-sized pancakes are lifted out with a zinc spoon and left to cool for a minute or two before being popped into the mouth. These plump half-moon treats are sometimes sandwiched together to make a heartier bite.
The best way to enjoy Khanom Khrok is when it’s still warm – the combination of flour and coconut bursting in a sweet-salty goo on the tongue. But beware: that same gooey centre can be molten when it’s fresh off the griddle. Toppings can range from traditional spring onions, corn and taro to gimmicky sweet potato, sweet egg yolk strings (“foi thong”) and even mango with sticky rice. Once last word of caution: these crispy half-dumplings can be highly addictive!