Of the realm that is Thai cuisine, Thai desserts are an eye-opener and steer away from the usual spicy and tangy flavours. Unlike Western desserts, Thai desserts are usually more filling and involve coconut, tropical fruits and sticky rice. Here are some of our favourite Thai desserts and ones you should definitely try!
1. Khao Neow Ma Muang (Mango Sticky Rice)
Mango sticky rice is undoubtedly the most famous Thai dessert. Sweet Thai mango is cut into slices or cubes and put on top of a bed of sticky rice, then generously drenched with sweet coconut cream. In Thailand, you can find mango sticky rice everywhere and at different price points.
2. Khao Neow Toorien (Durian Sticky Rice)
Another version of the sticky rice dessert, this time with chunks of the king of fruits swimming in coconut cream. Durian sticky rice is prepared the same way, and if you’re a fan of durian, this Thai dessert is definitely a must-try!
3. Khao Lam (Bamboo Sticky Rice)
Bamboo sticky rice is a bit different from the previous two. Sticky rice is first thick coconut cream, stuffed into bamboo sticks and roasted over a fire. You will find them in different kinds – with black beans, sesame, or made with black sticky rice. After the khao lam is ready, it is hacked open with a machete and ready to be devoured.
4. I-Tim Kati (Coconut Ice Cream)
There’s nothing that relieves the brutal Thai heat like some coconut ice cream. Since it is made completely with coconut milk, the dessert is suitable for folks who are lactose intolerant too. Its texture is not as creamy as milk-based ice cream and not as slushy like sorbet. Instead, it is a refreshing blend of the two. The ice cream is often served in a coconut husk, and many vendors also have toppings such as peanuts, sweet corn and syrups to choose from.
5. Khanom Buang (Sweet Thai Crepe)
These sweet Thai crepes are a popular Thai dessert. They are made with rice flour and mung bean flour then pan fried on a metal plate. Once it is ready, it is filled with meringue, followed by toppings such as shredded coconut or foi thong (strips of fried eggs or egg yolks). They kinda look like tacos, don’t you think?
6. Bua Loy Nam King (Black Sesame Rice Balls in Sweet Ginger Soup)
Originating in China, the bua loy nam king is essentially the tangyuan. It offers a refreshing break from the coconut-heavy Thai desserts, with mochi-like rice balls filled with black sesame paste swimming in a sweet ginger soup. It is best enjoyed warm, and perfect for rainy or cold days!
7. Sang Kaya Fug Tong (Pumpkin and Custard)
This very popular and unique Thai dessert is pumpkin filled with custard. The pumpkin is cleaned, hollowed out, then cooked and stuffed with a creamy coconut custard. Once it is ready, they are cut into slices for sale. Who knew that the texture of pumpkin actually goes really well with custard?
8. Roti Sai Mai (Candy Floss Crepe)
Especially famous for being a product of Ayutthaya, thin flavoured crepes are topped with Thai-style candy floss. You can find them in many street stalls in Thailand, frequently sold by Muslim vendors.
9. Nam Ponlamai Ruam Ban (Mixed Fruit Smoothies)
Another great one for cooling off from the Thai heat, these mixed fruit smoothies are made with the freshest tropical fruits blended with ice and coconut water. You can choose your own combination of fruits, and you can also ask for less or no sugar. You will find them everywhere you go, so staying hydrated will be the least of your problems.
10. Thapthim krop (Crispy Rubies)
One of the best known Thai desserts, having been named one of the world’s best 50 desserts by CNN Travel. It is made of cubes of water chestnuts soaked in grenadine, and known as ‘rubies’ because of its appearance. Enjoy this cold with coconut milk and ice cubes!