Recipes / Thai

Kanom tom

A traditional sweet served at Thai weddings to guests and monks, and a favourite Thai dessert from my childhood, and from my mother’s.  These are soft and chewy balls made of glutinous rice flour, with sweet shredded coconut inside.


For the outer layer:

125g of sticky rice flour

1 cup of water

Natural colouring if desired – you can slice a small piece of beetroot and add a couple of spoons of water to make pink colouring



Add water to the flour, 1/2 a cup at first, and knead to form a ball, then add the remaining water, including your beetroot water if using, in several stages to make a soft dough.  Leave to rest.


For the filling:

1 coconut

2 Tbsp coconut cream

Pinch of sea salt

1 Tbsp of honey

3 Tbsp of unrefined sugar

Divide a whole coconut in half and using a coconut grater, scoop out and grate the flesh.  Place in a steamer and steam for about 5 minutes.  This will help the coconut last longer if you plan to keep some of the kanom tom for tomorrow.  If eating on the same day this step isn’t necessary.



Take half of this steamed coconut and add the coconut cream, a pinch of sea salt, the honey and sugar and warm through on a low heat until the liquid is absorbed and the mixture is sticky.  When cool, roll into thumb sized balls.


To form:

Take 1 Tbsp of the dough, roll into a ball, then flatten into a disc large enough to enclose the coconut filling.  Squeeze to close, making sure there are no gaps, then roll into a ball again to seal and reshape.

Drop into boiling water for roughly 5 minutes.  The balls will float to the surface. Once they have done this, leave them a little longer to make sure the dough appears swollen and cooked through.


Once cooked, roll them in the rest of the grated coconut and serve.  Yumsville!



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