Eating Thai desserts (Kanom Thai,ขนมไทย) is one of the things you can’t miss in Thailand. They are everywhere, super cheap and very delicious. Many of Thai desserts have coconut milk as one of the main ingredients; this is why they taste and smell so good.
My most favorite! Every time I see it, I buy it. It normally has two flavors; sweet and savory. Some stalls / restaurants may offer something more sophisticated but these two are the most common and are simply the best.
Mortar is used to make this dessert so Thai people call it Kanom Krok which means Mortar dessert. This menu tastes best when it’s hot. However, it’s not recommended to put it into your mouth right after you buy it as the creamy coconut could burn your tongue. Some stalls / restaurants will put corn or parsley into the dessert to enhance its taste. I personally don’t like it as, for me, Kanom Krok doesn’t need anything else. Its crispy skin and creamy coconut are the perfect match.
Kao neaw ma muang
Mango and sticky rice… sounds like a weird combination. but this is one of the most famous and most liked Thai desserts (by both locals and foreigners). However, not many food stalls / restaurants sell this dessert because of its price and shelf life. So If you find one selling it, don’t let it go as there could be no second chance for you.
Thai coconut milk custard or Kanom thuai is worth a try. If you ask me, I feel like this is a room-temperature version of Kanom Krok.
This dessert is one of the most beautiful Thai desserts all the time. Some kids will fall into this food trap as the fruits look so real. They look almost too colorful and you are unsure whether these fake fruits are eatable. My advice is that you should avoid buying Look choup on the street as there is a chance that they will use artificial food coloring instead of natural food coloring. Buying Look Choup from reputable restaurants or cafes should be fine. Look choup’s main ingredients are green beans, sugar and natural food coloring.
Another banana dessert menu which is very easy to find on street. It’s normally sold together with deep-fried potato. You can choose to buy one of them or both (In my opinion, deep-fried banana is more delicious). Deep-fried foods are never good for your health (as no one, except the sellers, knows how long the oil has been used to fried bananas). So It’s best to buy it just a bit and share with your friends.
Tako From its appearance, Tako looks like Kanom thuai. In fact, it’s quite different. Firstly, for coconut topping, its texture is creamier. Secondly, sellers usually put chestnut, sago or corn in the layer cake under coconut topping, while there is only the layer cake for Kanom thuai (Menu 8).
Ice cream Kati Sod
Everyone knows ice cream but, for original Thai-style ice cream, it’s kind of different. There are many flavors of Thaistyle ice cream for you to choose such as coconut, coffee, Thai tea and even durian. Apart from that, you can also select 2-3 additional items such as sliced pumpkins, coconut jellies and peanuts.
Kanom tung tak
As far as I know, there is no English name for this dessert. Kanom tung tak means a dessert for poor people (it’s cheap as it’s mainly made of flour and sugar). Nowadays is a lot more than just flour and sugar. Sellers normally add Custard cream, coconut meat and sometimes sliced corn as well.
You will find a lot of decent (and also notso-tasty) Thai desserts on the street but quite a few great ones. If you just wander around and you smell or see some of the menus above but you are unsure whether they taste good. You can ask sellers to give you a try before you buy. Thai people are kind, especially with foreigners, and some would be happy to hand you a small piece of the dessert they sell. If it tastes good, go for it. If it doesn’t, just say thank you to the sellers and leave.