Thursday, January 1, 2009

Kanom Koke

Did everyone have a fun, safe New Year celebration? Great!

Ours was low key, which is just what we needed after spending 6 days with my family. Just kidding, Mom! It was fun, but with nieces and babies and all around general chaos, it was nice to spend an evening just chillaxing. But I do want to post yet another highlight from our visit.

Another of Mom's friends, Auntie P, who wouldn't stand to be outdone by the tapioca pork dumplings, offered to make another one of my favorite sweets, kanom koke. It's hard to believe that I haven't had these since my last visit to Thailand, 9 years ago! (Where does the time go? It still seems like yesterday!)

How do I describe these?

Imagine a custard crossed with a pancake. They are made with rice flour and coconut milk and fried up in a special pan with several wells. The bottoms become crispy while the centers are still soft but firm. Hard to explain. You'll just have to taste.

These tasties can be embellished by adding slightly cooked, diced pumpkin or taro to the batter, but here's the basic version:

Rice flour is mixed with coconut milk. Pandan leaves or essence are added, much like vanilla would be to a dessert. A pinch of salt and sugar may also be added, but it's not necessary as another sweetened mixture will be added on top. The batter is heated until it thickens slightly and the flavor from the pandan leaves is released.

Auntie said the sweets are named after the pan used to cook them (koke = hole). Luckily I already have a pan like this I use to make Danish aebleskiver, a kind of round pancake. The batter is poured into the greased wells and allowed to set slightly.

After the batter sets a little, a second mixture of coconut cream mixed with a little coconut milk, chives (we used green onions), sugar and salt are put on top.

They're done with the edges and bottom crisp and the centers firm up.

Don't they look great? The texture is custard-y yet firm-ish. The bottom is slightly crispy and caramelized. They taste best eaten warm. My cousin said she ate these for breakfast every morning before school. I think I could do that too!

Compared to the tapioca dumplings, these were a breeze to make! I'll try to get a recipe posted once I replicate them myself.


Paula said...

Glad you made it home safe and sound! We're in for a wind storm tonight! These kanom koke look terrific ... I bet that pan weighs a ton! :-) Those dumplings in the prior post sound amazing, too! YUM! Happy New Year!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Another similarity to VNese food. Our version is called "banh khot" and is savory with shrimp, pork, and mung bean. We use rice flour and coconut milk too.

Dee said...

Paula, I really do without the inclement weather right now. Our roof was intact but our basement has now sprung a leak. Just have to keep reminding myself to smile, it's the new year, right?!

WC, I think we have a savory version as well. I'll have to ask mom more about it.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog by accident while Googling how to stir-fry noodles (wondering if rice noodles will cook if they're just stir-fried in oil or if they have to be soaked or even boiled first--what say you?) and I'm so glad I did! Yours is exactly the kind of cooking blogs I've been looking for. I can hardly wait for future posts and am eager to explore past ones.

Woot! Linked you on my blog so I can keep up with you.

Dee said...

Genie, thank you for stopping by and the kind words. As for the rice noodles, if they are dried they must be soaked. The fresh ones, including vacuum packed ones, don't. Happy cooking! And I've love to hear how it goes with the noodles.

Jan said...

Oooh they look good! A very happy new year to you and your family.

dp said...

Jan, thank you and same to you!

Lars said...

thailandske æbleskiver... det var lige godt s... looks great!

Dee said...

Lars, I knew I hauled that aebleskiver pan across the ocean for a reason. Now I have two reasons to use it!