As someone who was born and raised in Thailand, I can tell you that one of the best ways to experience our country’s culture is by indulging in the flavors of our cuisine. Our food is a beautiful combination of different herbs, spices, and flavors, and there is nothing quite like experiencing it for yourself.
It will take you from your home…or from where you live now…to Thailand!
An Asian countries such as Thailand has a rich culture.
This website is about Kanom Krok.
One dish that truly embodies the Thailand’s flavors is steamed Thai cupcakes, which are also known as "Kanom Krok" in Thai. These bite-sized cakes are made of rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and other ingredients that vary depending on the recipe. They are soft and moist on the inside, with a crispy exterior that is similar to the texture of a pancake.
If you are visiting Thailand, Kanom Krok is a must-try dish that offers a unique and delicious experience. The combination of sweet, salty and spicy flavors is something that will leave you craving for more. Not only is it a popular snack among locals, but it is also a great way to immerse yourself in our rich culinary culture.
In this article, I will share with you everything you need to know about Thai steamed cupcakes, including the history of the dish, where to find them in Thailand, and the best ways to enjoy them. Get ready to discover the delicious flavors of Kanom Krok and the different variations you can find across Thailand, including my personal favorites.
Regional Variations of Thai Steamed Cupcakes
Thai Steamed Cupcakes or Khanom Tako is a traditional Thai dessert that has been enjoyed by generations of Thai people. This light and fluffy dessert is made from glutinous rice flour and coconut milk, and is typically served in small cups, with a colorful jelly topping.
In Thailand, there are many different variations of Thai Steamed Cupcakes, each with their own unique flavor and appearance. Some of the most popular regional variations include:
Khanom Tako from Central Thailand
Khanom Tako from central Thailand is made using a mixture of rice flour and ground mung beans, which gives the dessert a yellow color and a nutty flavor. The jellies on top are usually made from mineral water, agar-agar powder, and sugar. This variation is commonly served in small, bite-sized portions.
Khanom Tako from Northern Thailand
Khanom Tako from northern Thailand is made using rice flour and coconut milk, but also includes a special ingredient called hor mok, which is a type of Thai fish custard. This gives the dessert a unique savory flavor that pairs well with the sweet jelly topping. The jellies are usually made from pandan juice, which gives them a pale green color.
Khanom Tako from Southern Thailand
Khanom Tako from southern Thailand is made in a similar way to the central Thailand variation, but includes a special ingredient called khanom jaak, which is a type of palm sugar. This gives the dessert a rich and caramel-like flavor. The jellies on top are usually made from coconut water, agar-agar powder, and food coloring.
Khanom Tako from Eastern Thailand
Khanom Tako from eastern Thailand is made using a mixture of rice flour and tapioca starch, which gives the dessert a unique texture that is both soft and chewy. The jellies on top are usually made from coconut milk and pandan juice, which gives them a light green color and a sweet fragrance.
Ingredients Used in Thai Steamed Cupcakes
While the specific ingredients used in Thai Steamed Cupcakes vary depending on the regional variation, there are some common ingredients that are used in most recipes. These include:
- Glutinous Rice Flour
- Coconut Milk
- Agar-Agar Powder
- Pandan Juice
- Food Coloring
- Hor Mok (Northern Variation)
- Khanom Jaak (Southern Variation)
- Mineral Water (Central Variation)
- Tapioca Starch (Eastern Variation)
The exact proportions and cooking methods used for each ingredient are what make each regional variation unique.
How to Make Thai Steamed Cupcakes
Making Thai Steamed Cupcakes can be a bit of a challenge, but it is definitely worth the effort. Here is a basic recipe that you can use to make your own Thai Steamed Cupcakes at home:
- 1 cup of glutinous rice flour
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of agar-agar powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of pandan juice
- Food coloring (optional)
- 1/2 cup of water
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar until they are well combined.
In a separate bowl, mix together the agar-agar powder and water until the powder has dissolved completely.
Add the agar-agar mixture to the rice flour mixture and stir until the mixture is smooth.
Add the pandan juice and food coloring (if using) and stir until the mixture is evenly colored.
Pour the mixture into small cups or molds, filling them about 2/3 of the way full.
Steam the cups or molds over boiling water for about 15 minutes, or until the cupcakes are cooked all the way through.
While the cupcakes are steaming, prepare the jelly topping by mixing together the appropriate ingredients for your regional variation.
Once the cupcakes are cooked, remove them from the steamer and allow them to cool for a few minutes.
Spoon the jelly topping over the cupcakes, making sure to cover them evenly.
- Allow the jelly to set before serving.
Where to Find Delicious Thai Steamed Cupcakes in Thailand
If you're visiting Thailand, there are many places where you can find delicious Thai Steamed Cupcakes. Some popular places to try this delicious dessert include:
Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok
Located in the heart of Bangkok, the Chatuchak Weekend Market is a paradise for foodies. Here, you can find a wide variety of Thai street food, including Khanom Tako. Look out for small stalls with colorful jelly toppings and long lines of hungry customers.
Huen Phen Restaurant, Chiang Mai
Huen Phen is a famous restaurant in Chiang Mai that specializes in traditional Northern Thai cuisine. Their Khanom Tako is made using hor mok, giving it a unique savory flavor that is unlike any other variation of this dessert.
Siam Paragon Mall, Bangkok
Located in the heart of Bangkok's shopping district, Siam Paragon Mall is a popular destination for foodies. Here, you can find a wide variety of Thai desserts, including Khanom Tako. Look out for stalls with colorful jellies and cute packaging.
Talad Rot Fai Night Market, Bangkok
Talad Rot Fai is a popular night market in Bangkok that sells everything from vintage clothing to street food. Here, you can find many different variations of Khanom Tako, each with its own unique flavor and appearance.
Recommendations for Pairing Thai Steamed Cupcakes
Thai Steamed Cupcakes are a sweet and tasty dessert that pairs well with a wide variety of beverages. Some popular options include:
- Thai Iced Tea
- Coconut Water
- Green Tea
- Milk Tea
If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try pairing your Khanom Tako with a shot of Thai whisky or Mekhong, a popular Thai spirit.
Thai Steamed Cupcakes are a delicious and unique dessert that is well worth trying if you're visiting Thailand. Whether you prefer the sweet and delicate jellies of the central region or the savory fish custard of the north, there is a variation of this dessert that is sure to please your taste buds. So, next time you're in Thailand, be sure to give Khanom Tako a try!