Updated: Mar 22, 2021
Kanom Krok [ขนมครก] are deliciously creamy, a little sweet, and a touch savory bites made from various forms of coconut and rice and topped with either green onion, corn, or taro. I had these when I first went to Thailand in 2010 and I've sought them out every visit since. They're pretty scarce as far as street foods go, but I know I can always find some at Chatuchak Market. JJ (as Chatuchak is lovingly called) is the largest market in Thailand, and sits just outside Bangkok with a whopping 8,000 stalls. Most of the food stalls are in one central location, and there are endless treats to explore. Kanom krok literally means "dessert mortar" most likely for the bowl shaped pan they are cooked in. They have been around since the Ayutthaya period (14th-18th centuries), and this blog has a great origin story.
[ขนมครก: Thai Coconut Pudding Bites]
¾ c. coconut cream
¼ c. cooked white rice, room temperature
½ c. rice flour
2 tbs. glutinous rice flour
1 tbs. sugar
1 tbs. grated fresh coconut*
¼ c. warm water
¾ c. coconut cream
2 tbs. sugar
½ tbs. rice flour
1 tsp. tapioca flour or corn starch
Coconut oil for cooking
Ebelskiver, takoyaki, or kanom krok pan
Sweet corn kernels
Green onion, diced small
Taro, diced small and cooked
*If fresh coconut isn't available, don't substitute desiccated. Instead, add 1 tbs. more white rice for a little extra texture.
Blend all shell ingredients in a blender, about 45 seconds. Batter should be somewhat smooth (no remaining chunks of coconut) and the consistency of crepe batter. If your batter is more like pancake batter, add 1 tbs. more water. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
Blend all filling ingredients in a blender for about 30 seconds, until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
Prepare toppings if desired.
Set up your cooking station as below (see bottom of page). Next to your stovetop, set up a cooling rack, coconut oil, and toppings.
Heat ebelskiver, takoyaki, or kanom krok pan over medium low heat until a splash of water causes a sizzle. Brush each half-sphere with coconut oil. Give both batters a quick stir to incorporate any ingredients that have settled.
*Start with only a few kanom krok until you get the hang of it- don’t go filling the whole pan if you’ve never done this before!*. To each half-sphere, add ½ tbs. shell batter, and then go back and quickly add 1 tsp. filling batter to the center of each shell. When you are adding the filling, push the teaspoon with filling batter into the center of the crust batter. See photo below for details. You want the filling batter to stay in the center of the kanom krok, and pushing your teaspoon into the center pushes the crust batter up the sides of the pan. The batter will not fill the entire half-sphere if you are working with an ebelskiver or takoyaki pan- this is okay! If you fill the entire half-sphere, the kanom krok can end up being too thick and goopy: you want them to be smaller.
Once all the batters are poured, turn the heat down to low. Let cook for about 4 minutes.
After 4 minutes, turn up the heat slightly to medium low, and cook 2 minutes. This should start to set the center, and the outside should be starting to crisp and look brown. You will be able to see the brown edges around the side of the kanom krok.
If you smell it starting to burn- turn down the heat! When only the very center of your kanom krok looks wet, add toppings: a few kernels of corn, a sprinkle of green onion, or a couple pieces of diced taro. Cover with a large lid and cook 1-2 more minutes.
The kanom krok should be crispy on the outside and not wet or wiggly anymore on the inside. Remove the kanom krok from the pan by pushing on one side slightly with a toothpick or skewer, and when it releases, scoop it up with a spoon and place on the cooling rack.
Let cool for about 1-2 minutes and enjoy! These are best eaten immediately, as they lose the molten and crispy qualities as they cool.