Sawasdee ka, dear readers! It's Sirinya, here, and I'm excited to share with you one of my favorite Thai desserts: Khanom Krok. This tasty little delight is a popular street food in Thailand that has been around for many, many years. In fact, it's believed that Khanom Krok originated from the Ayutthaya period of Thai history. But, enough with the history lesson, let's get to the good stuff!
Khanom Krok is made from a simple batter of rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and salt. The batter is then poured into a hot, specially designed pan that has several shallow, circular indents. The pan is then covered and cooked over a charcoal fire until the batter is crispy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside. The result? A little nugget of heaven that is bursting with flavor.
The traditional version of Khanom Krok is made with just the basic batter mentioned above, but nowadays, you can find a variety of flavors and toppings added to it. From sweet corn and taro to pandan and sesame, there are so many options to choose from. And, not to mention, the toppings like shredded coconut and green onion add an extra layer of texture and taste that take Khanom Krok to the next level. So, dear readers, join me as we explore the delicious delight of Khanom Krok in Thailand.
Origin and History of Khanom Krok
Khanom Krok is a traditional Thai snack that has been enjoyed for generations. Its origins can be traced back to the Ayutthaya period when traders from India, Persia, and China brought over their influence in Thai culinary culture. The dish’s original name is “Khanom Khrok,” which translates to “molding sweet.” The dish was initially popular in central Thailand, especially among the working-class population, where it was a quick, easy, and affordable breakfast or snack option.
With its growing popularity, Khanom Krok eventually found its way to other areas of the country, and its recipe has undergone numerous adaptations, leading to variants that can be found today. While the traditional recipe includes only a few ingredients, modern Khanom Krok can have additional flavors such as corn, taro, pumpkin, and more.
Ingredients of Khanom Krok
The main ingredients used to make Khanom Krok are rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, salt, and water. With these ingredients, one can produce a light and fluffy texture that dissolves in the mouth, giving you an ultimate burst of sweetness and a subtle hint of saltiness.
The ratio of the ingredients is crucial when making Khanom Krok. It's important to get the right consistency, texture, and sweetness levels. A slight variation in ingredient measurements can alter the outcome of the dish's taste and texture.
How Khanom Krok is Made
To prepare Khanom Krok, you'll require a special Khanom Krok pan. The pan has small round craters, similar to an aebleskiver pan, where the mixture is poured and cooked. If you don't have access to this pan, you can use an aebleskiver pan as an alternative.
To make the batter, start by mixing rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, salt, and water in a bowl. Give it a good whisk to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated. Add the desired flavoring for your variation and mix well. Heat the Khanom Krok pan over medium heat and add a small amount of oil. Once the pan is hot, pour the batter into the craters, filling them halfway. Cover the pan and let the mixture cook for about two minutes before lifting a bit to check the undercooked part. Cover and cook for another two minutes or until the Khanom Krok gets a golden brown color. Once they are done, use a skewer to remove the small cakes from the pan and serve hot.
Where to find the best Khanom Krok in Thailand
Khanom Krok is widely available throughout Thailand, especially in street markets, night markets, and local food courts. However, if you’re looking for the best of the best, then Banglamphu Market, situated in the old town of Bangkok, is the ideal destination. Here, you'll find vendors selling authentic and traditional-style Khanom Krok that will melt in your mouth. Another popular spot for trying out street food in Bangkok is the Chatuchak Weekend Market, which opens on weekends only. The place is a massive flea market, and vendors come together from all parts of the city. You'll be spoilt for choice, but don't miss the chance to try out Khanom Krok from the tiny stalls in the food section.
Tips for Enjoying Khanom Krok
Khanom Krok is best enjoyed when it's hot or warm. If eating them freshly cooked, dip them in a spicy sauce, and indulge in the heavenly taste. The traditional recipe includes green onions and has a light, subtle onion taste, so if you have a thing for onions, you'd love this. Khanom Krok goes well with green tea or Thai milk tea, enhancing its flavors and texture.