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Why I didn’t make any resolutions for my health

January 10, 2012

Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten was street food in Bangkok.  And the best street food I’ve enjoyed was a snack called kanom krok.  It’s sort of a cross between a pancake and a pudding made of a rice flour and coconut milk batter cooked in a special cast-iron pan with egg-sized depressions.  On top of the batter is a sugary coconut milk filling that is steamed to ooey, gooey deliciousness.  The closest thing I can think to compare the texture of kanom krok to is the most perfectly, painstakingly toasted marshmellow – lightly crispy on the outside and totally smooth, silky, and motlen-hot inside.  But the dough is a little more substantial than that, and slightly salty, which is the perfect compliment to the sweet coconut filling.  In Thailand, the little pancakes are sometimes topped with something savory like corn or green onions, but I prefer them plain and sweet.

Kanom krok is one of those treats that I assumed I’d never be able to replicate at home, and so I kept my eyes peeled for them in Thailand and ate them every chance I got.  The very best ones we found were the first ones we ever tried, at a stall along a street on the outskirts of Chinatown.  We ordered a box of 10 for about $1 without knowing what we were eating.  Tea and I both fell in love.

The best kanom krok maker in Bangkok

My mom surprised me at Christmas with a small kanom krok pan of my own, and so yesterday I decided that instead of a healthy dinner, I would feed the kids as much kanom krok as they could eat.  It was totally for the kids, you understand.  It had absolutely nothing to do with my own insatiable sweet tooth and love of all things breakfasty for dinner.

I used this recipe (this store also sell2 2 sizes of the pan).  The only ingredient I had trouble finding was tapioca flour, until I discovered it’s also known as tapioca starch, which I happened to already have in my pantry (although I have no recollection of why).  The pancakes cooked up with no trouble at all, and pre-seasoning the pan seemed to have done the trick – I had to loosen the cooked pancakes around the edges with a knife, but I didn’t have any problems with things sticking.

The biggest problem I had was not keeping the lid on long enough to fully steam the filling because I kept taking it off to take pictures.  The taste didn’t suffer.  Alas, they were far more filling than I remembered, and I’d only made 3 pans worth before the boys and I were stuffed. (Kyle, who has no sense of adventure was hungry for more than sugar, had cooked a frozen pizza for himself.)  But I like to think that the extra batter in my fridge is the start to a perfect breakfast.  And possibly lunch.  Because while they weren’t quite as good as the kanom krok we ate in Bangkok, they were still a welcome taste of the Thailand that we miss.

Tea's first kanom krok

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Hannah permalink
    January 10, 2012 9:17 am

    The pan looks like a pancake puff pan 🙂 I”m always so impressed with your cooking skills and how you can make recipes from Thailand. You guys rock! 🙂

    • January 10, 2012 11:44 am

      I had no idea what a pancake puff pan was so I googled it. What do you know? It does look just the same! There’s a whole new world of pancakes filled with various gooey things to try! Clearly, I need to get out more.

  2. January 10, 2012 9:26 am

    Couldn’t agree more. Best food ever is the food I ate on the streets in Bangkok (and who were those crazy people who said not to eat it anyway?) . Love this recipe! If I ever get ambitious, I’m going to make them…either that or hop a plane to your house, which, for me, would be easier.

    • Nancy permalink
      January 10, 2012 8:56 pm

      Congrats on a great gift for you! I totally forgot to look for one when in a great Thai store in MN. Perhaps you could entice us with some at our next gathering!

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