Thailand Food Exploration: Khao Lam

Are you getting your 5-a-day of bamboo? If you answered yes, you’re either an internet-savvy panda or a patently troubled individual.

Luckily, it’s what’s inside the bamboo that we’re interested in.

khao lam

Khao lam is sticky rice which has been cooked inside a piece of bamboo. The rice is mixed with coconut milk, sugar and occasionally black beans or other surprises, and then stuffed into the bamboo and roasted.

To serve, the stall owner hacks each piece to split it slightly and hands it over. You then break it apart and pull off pieces from the core of rice inside.

It has a slightly smoky taste, and is teeth-stickingly chewy. I’d prefer it with a little more sugar and/or coconut, as it lacks the sumptuous richness I want from this kind of dessert.

PS: You don’t eat the bamboo…