Floating Lotus

Among Thais as well as expats around Thailand, this dessert called Bua Loy in Thai is definitely a favorite. It's surprisingly simple to make, although it does take some time.

Bua Loy “Floating Lotus” or Bua Loy in Thai

The taro is not a traditional addition to this dessert, but I had some left over from another dish and found it was a good fit. Taro in sweet coconut milk is a common enough thing, so this is like combining the two. I've also been served this dish with some diced water chestnut added, which is also very good.

The cinnamon is definitely non-traditional, as Thais never use it in sweets, thinking it's just for savory dishes. However, I find it adds a nice aroma to the dish. Clove or crystallized ginger might also be interesting alternatives.

Ingredients

Coconut cream220 ml / 1 c
Salt½ tsp
Coconut milk330 ml / 1 ½ c
Sugar220 g / 1 c
Taro220 g / 1 cDiced & cooked - Optional
Sticky rice flour220 g / 1 c
Water55 ml / ¼ c
Cinnamon2 sticksOptional

Preparation Method

  • Stir together the coconut cream and salt and set aside.
  • Stir the sugar into the coconut milk in a saucepan. Heat to boiling, and then pour into a serving dish.
  • If using taro, cook it in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes, and then add it to the prepared sweet coconut milk.
  • Slowly work the ¼ cup water into the sticky rice flour. You may need to add a little more water to get a paste that's about the same consistency as modeling clay. Form the paste into small balls about half an inch in diameter.
  • Heat a large pot of water to boiling. If using cinnamon, break up the sticks and add them to the water. When it reaches a roiling boil, drop the rice balls into the water one-by-one. The balls will sink when you drop them in, but float to the surface when cooked. Remove the balls as they're cooked and add them to the coconut milk.
  • Before serving, spoon the coconut cream over the top of the dessert.

This dish should be served at room temperature or warmer. It does not refrigerate well, as the sticky rice flour balls will get hard, and even warming the dish up in a microwave won't get them completely soft again. Also note that the balls will get very sticky if allowed to dry even a little bit, so be sure to transfer them from the cooking pot right into the sweet coconut milk.

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