Black Bean Dessert

“Black beans for dessert?” I hear you asking incredulously. Yes, as I've mentioned before, Thais don't follow the same “rules” about what is sweet and what is savory that westerners do, although they can be just as rigid about their ideas. I've never seen black beans used in a Thai main course, but this dessert dish is quite common. Black beans with sweet coconut milk The old Thai-language recipe I used as a starting point for this dish didn't have taro in it, but I don't think I've every been served this dessert without it, so I added taro to the mix. … More

Black Rice Pudding

Black rice pudding is a relatively common dessert in Thailand as well as Indonesia. It is a very warming dish, so it is usually more easily found in the cool season. The naturally sweet taste of the rice is why you find it used in desserts rather than served with main courses. Black rice has a well deserved reputation for taking forever to cook, since it's a more 'natural' grain with a strong husk. However, I've found that if I soak the rice for much longer than just the 'overnight' usually recommended, it reduces the cooking time considerably. Soaking the … More

Custard Filled Pumpkin

This relatively simple recipe nonetheless provides an interesting "wow" factor. It's a quite simple idea, and I only recently found out that the great American traditional pumpkin pie is thought to have originated when the early colonists cut the top off a pumpkin (provided, like corn, by the Native Americans) and filled it with milk, spices and honey, then baked it in the coals of a dying fire. Custard Filled Pumpkin The difficulty with this recipe is, of course, finding a pot large enough to fit your pumpkin, or a pumpkin small enough to fit in your pot! The size favored … More

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. “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 … More

Fruit Compote

This is an old recipe that I've changed and adapted over the years to accommodate what was available in Bangkok. The original recipe called for dates rather than figs, but lately the dates you can get here, in addition to being very expensive, aren't really the kind suited to this dish. Fruit Compote The original recipe also called for chopped or sliced nuts, but after trying out the ground almonds, I found I liked the cake-like texture they gave the dish. The blueberries I added for some color and flavor. Back in the states, this was a great dish for potlucks, since … More

Hot Bananas with Cinnamon Coconut Sauce

This pleasant and simple dessert is quick and easy to make, although it must be served warm. Hot Bananas with Cinnamon Coconut Sauce … More

Jade Sticky Rice

I noticed that a few visitors coming here were looking for a "jade" sticky rice recipe, so as it's December, even here in Bangkok, I thought I'd make a nice "Christmassy" version. The green color ostensibly comes from the addition of pandan flavoring to the sticky rice layer, but you will probably need to add a bit of green food coloring to get a good color. Jade Sticky Rice - The Christmas Version … More

Mangoes with Sticky Rice

This has to be one of the desserts many people identify most with Thailand, at least if the visit at a certain time of year, when mangoes are in season. It's quite a filling dish; one worth of being shared with a friend. It can also be quite sleep-inducing! Mangoes and Sticky Rice … More

Mock Pomegranate Seeds

This simple dessert, also sometimes called “red rubies” is often served with crushed ice, like many Thai sweets. The gem-like quality of this dish makes it a rather elegant finish for a dinner party. Although red is the traditional color, you can try other colors to suit your mood, or match the décor of your dining room. Mock Pomegranate Seeds … More

Pumpkin in Sweet Coconut Milk

Pumpkin is one of the few “cross-over“ ingredients in Thai cooking that can be found in both sweets and main dishes. While the eye-catching custard-filled pumpkin dessert often gets a lot of attention, you can also find this simpler sweet dish as well. Pumpkin in sweet coconut milk Thais prefer to leave the skin on the pumpkin, especially when they use it for desserts. This is surprising because Thai pumpkins have a thick rough green-to-gray skin. It takes a lot of scrubbing to get it clean, and even then I'd have second thoughts. For the photo, I peeled the pumpkin. This dish can … More

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