Thailand Food Exploration: Khanom Tua Baep

How often do you eat something and it turns out to be far less awesome than you were imagining?

(I know, this isn’t sounding good for khanom tua baep is it?)

Perhaps it’s proportionate to the amount of anticipation.

khanom tua baep

Strolling round Klong Suan 100 Year Market (near to Bangkok), I was fascinated to see a lady making some fiddly-looking pancakes.

With consummate skill, she spooned coloured batter onto tightly-stretched muslin and smeared it into a round. The muslin rested above boiling water, and the nascent pancake was covered with a conical hat to keep the steam in.

khanom tua baep process

When the pancake was a little firmer, she spooned a yellow mixture on top, then swiftly folded the pancake up and dropped it into a large bowl of coconut.

There was a constant rotation of 3 pancakes in various stages. Occasionally she would pause to box some up for sale, adding an extra sprinkle of the mysterious yellow mixture. They looked moist and coconutty, and I imagined the delicious sweet filling with anticipation.

After some inordinate staring, I moved on, but came back past later for another look, and a quick purchase.

When we eventually got back to the car, I levered the box open and H took a photo.

The little sachet you can see in the top pic contained sugar mixed with sesame seeds. I decided first to try a pancake without, and popped one into my mouth.

The wrapper was gelatinous, but not unpleasant. The coconut tasted a bit salty, and the filling turned out to be yellow bean: dry, crumbly and uninspiring.

I sprinkled some of the sugar on top and tried again, and while it helped, it didn’t improve things to the extent that I’d want to eat this dessert again. I mean, it practically tasted healthy…