Check out this list of the best Thai desserts. They are produced with complicated preparation techniques and a lot of fresh and high-quality ingredients such tropical fruit, palm sugar, rice flour, and coconut milk.
Check out also the list of best meat and seafood dishes, best Thai noodle and rice dishes, and best Thai appetizers and curries.
While most people are familiar with savory foods such as tom yum goong, pad thai, and som tum, traditional Thai sweets such as thong yib, thong yod, and khanom chun are not.
If you’ve ever gone to a Bangkok market or supermarket, you’ve probably seen, smelled, or even sampled them – but you have no idea what they are or what they’re made of.
Kinds of Thai desserts
Some of the most popular and best Thai desserts are egg yolk-based, such as thong yib (pinched gold), thong yod (drop of gold), and foi thong (golden threads). They have symbolic importance, as do many traditional, best Thai desserts— the color gold represents auspiciousness and wealth, therefore they’re frequently served at auspicious occasions like as marriages, the commemoration of a new house, and ordainment.
There’s also khanom chun (layered dessert), which gets its name from the fact that it has 9 levels. Thais consider the number 9 to be auspicious, representing growth and progress. Other color variants may be available in addition to the standard hue of green (from the pandanus leaf).
Look choob (miniature fruits) is one of Bangkok’s most amazing and best Thai desserts. These are glistening and bright tiny fruits and vegetables prepared from moonbeam paste, boiled in coconut milk, then dipped in gelatine.
Tropical fruits have also made their way into Thai desserts. Khao niew ma muang is maybe the most well-known of all (sticky rice garnished with sweet coconut cream, roasted sesame seeds, and ripe mango). The same sticky rice may also be found paired with fresh durian (when in season). Bananas can be prepared into gluay buad chee (banana in coconut cream), gluay tord (deep-fried banana fritters), and pandanus-wrapped khanom gluay (pandanus-wrapped banana fritters) (steamed banana with rice flour and coconut).
Origin and history of Thai desserts
Thai desserts originated when the Portuguese introduced the usage of eggs, which quickly became a significant element in Thai desserts alongside flour, sugar, and coconut. Thai desserts also contain mung beans, rice flour, glutenous rice, lotus seeds, palm sugar, and cassava root.
The scent of Thai desserts is distinctive — Thai people frequently soak jasmine and fragrant flowers in water before using it to produce syrup. Aromatic candles are frequently lit next to desserts or coconut milk in sealed containers. Thai desserts are sometimes left overnight next to aromatic flowers.
It’s no wonder that many people find Thai desserts extremely sweet and heavy, because the cooking methods vary almost as much as the desserts themselves, from basic deep-frying or steaming to the more sophisticated procedure of boiling egg yolks in syrup.
If you want something lighter, try khanom waan (fruit, grass jelly, and sticky rice in a bowl of syrup, coconut cream, and crushed ice), or simply enjoy freshly cut tropical fruit such as mango, pineapple, or papaya.
7 Best Thai Desserts
1. Khao Niao Mamuang (Mango Sticky Rice)
Khao niao mamuang, often known as mango sticky rice, is one of the best Thai desserts worldwide, not just in Thailand. Mango sticky rice, as the name implies, is a popular delicacy prepared with fresh mango, glutinous rice, palm sugar, and coconut milk.
Coconut milk is blended with salt and sugar before being boiled and poured to glutinous rice to produce mango sticky rice. The combination is let to stand until the coconut milk has been absorbed by the sticky rice. It’s then served with sliced ripe mango and drizzled with the leftover milk.
Nothing surpasses mango sticky rice when mangoes are in season. It’s fantastic. Mango sticky rice, as described, was one of only two best Thai desserts selected in CNN Travel’s list of the World’s 50 Best Desserts.
2. Oh Eaw
Oh eaw (or o-aew) is a shaved ice dish that is popular in Phuket. It gets its name from its major ingredient, aiyu jelly, which is manufactured from the seeds of the oh eaw plant. The jelly is topped with red kidney beans and grass jelly and served with sweet syrup and crushed ice.
Oh eaw was brought to Phuket by Hokkien Chinese immigrants who arrived during the island’s tin mining boom in the mid- and early-twentieth centuries. This vibrant treat can now be found almost anywhere in Phuket, from street food carts to food courts to cafés and dessert stores.
3. Khanom Tako
This is another one of the best Thai desserts, and Thais frequently eat it when they visit Thai restaurants outside of Thailand. Khanom tako (or simply tako) is a sort of Thai dessert pudding topped with coconut milk.
To make it, a jelly foundation comprised of flour, water, and sugar is poured into a cup constructed of pandan leaves. It is allowed to cool and solidify before being topped with the coconut milk. As a result, the dessert has two different layers: a creamy top and a more firm, gelatin-like bottom.
The tako can be eaten plain, but as seen below, it can also be decorated with a variety of items such as fruit, maize, beans, or taro.
4. Pa Thong Ko
Pa thong ko is a Thai street food dessert made from deep-fried flatbread. It’s essentially a Thai version of a doughnut or Chinese cruller.
Thais enjoy eating pa thong ko for breakfast or as a dessert snack. When served for breakfast, it is frequently accompanied by a bowl of jok or congee. When served as a dessert or snack, it is frequently accompanied by sweetened condensed milk or a thick and creamy pandan custard.
5. Khanom Krok
Khanom krok is a typical Thai dessert consisting of coconut-rice pancakes. It’s a fragrant and sweet street food snack akin to the Burmese mont lin maya or the Indonesian surabi.
Khanom krok is produced by combining rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar into a dough and heating it on a heated indented frying pan similar to those used to make Japanese takoyaki. Each khanom krok is made up of two pieces, one salty and one sweet, that are finally joined together to make the finished pancake.
The basic ingredients are coconut milk and rice flour, although khanom krok can also be prepared with shredded coconut, maize, taro, and green onions. The sugar-dusted pancakes we ate at Chiang Mai’s Yee Peng Festival are seen here.
6. Luk Chub
These lovely glass-like beads are luk chub, a Thai dessert created from a creamy, sweetened mung bean paste. They’re commonly fashioned and colored to seem like little Thai fruits and vegetables, similar to Italy’s frutta martorama, utilizing natural pigments like butterfly pea flower and pandan leaf extract.
Portuguese traders with a passion for marzipan may have brought luk chub to Thailand in the 16th century. Because almonds were unavailable in Thailand, they substituted peanuts or mung bean paste.
7. Cha Yen (Thai Iced Tea)
I enjoy drinking beer when we go out to dine, but Thai restaurants are typically an exception, owing to this sweet and creamy drink known as cha yen or Thai iced tea.
Cha yen is a popular drink among both residents and visitors. It is created with black tea, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and sugar. Before serving, the milk is poured over the tea and ice (or vice versa) to give the drink its distinctive two-tone appearance. To make the drink, combine the ingredients until they are an even orange color.
Have you ever wondered where the nuclear hue of cha yen comes from? It comes from particular types of black tea that are colored with the same food coloring that is used to tint Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. According to what I understand, it is just for cosmetic purposes and has nothing to do with taste.
Thai Cooking Class
Aside from food tours that you may enjoy during your visit to Thailand, you can also enjoy attending cooking lessons while on vacation. Cooking classes is one the best activities you should not miss in Thailand. It’s one of the finest methods to learn about the local food. Tourists take culinary lessons in Chiang Mai and Phuket in Thailand and had a great time both times. Cookly has a list of cooking lessons in Bangkok and many other cities in Thailand.