Food Knowledge

What is Thai Coconut Milk Custard or Kanom Tuay (ขนมถ้วย)?

Thai Coconut Milk Custard or Kanom Tuay (ขนมถ้วย)

Kanom Tuay is steamed Thai coconut milk custard, served in small ceramic cups with a wooden paddle spoon or popsicle stick that’s used to scoop out the dessert. In Thai, this dessert literally means “dessert in a small bowl”. Kanom Tuay is made up of two layers, the soft and sweet bottom layer which contrasts well with the creamy and salty top.

How is Kanom Tuay Made?

As Kanom Tuay has two layers, the “body” and the “face”, there are two mixtures to be prepared. Once the cups are preheated by steaming, the mixture for the bottom layer is poured to fill about ¾ of the cup and steamed for 5-7 minutes. Then the top layer is poured in, which is steamed for another 6-8 minutes.

For the bottom layer or “body”, rice flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot starch along with coconut milk, jasmine water, natural sugar, and salt are mixed together. Traditionally, coconut sugar, jaggery (a type of natural sugar), or palm sugar is preferred as a sweetener because of its toasty and caramel undertones. Other types of sugar can be used, but its sweetness will lack dimension.

Next is the mixture for the top layer or “face”. The mixture consists of mainly coconut cream followed by rice flour and a small amount of salt with optional sugar. After the bottom layer is cooked, this mixture is poured until it reaches the top of the cup before streaming again.

What are the variations of Kanom Tuay?

Traditionally, Kanom Tuay has a light brown bottom layer from its ingredients of coconut sugar or jaggery. Now, other natural ingredients can be used instead of jasmine water to add a pleasant color and aroma such as pandan leaves for a natural green color and butterfly pea for a blue color.

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