On a previous visit to Thailand nearly 5 years ago, while out with our hosts we suddenly screeched to the side of the road and shortly afterwards were the proud owners of a box of khanom krok. Hot, crispy, soft and coconutty, the little half-spheres were sublimely delicious.
A few years later at a Thai festival in the UK, I managed to purchase some more at an exorbitant price. Upon our arrival back to Thailand again a few days ago, I asked after them on our trip home from the airport, and an immediate purchase was made for me at a nearby stall.
I learned that there are at least two different types of khanom krok. The first (as seen in the upper picture) are a more simple concoction of semi-set coconut pudding. Poured straight into the special cooking moulds, the mixture is left until still a touch runny in the centre, then dished up, sometimes topped with a little spring onion. I admit the onion surprised my Western palate, but it does work. The texture is similar to a light custard.
The second type has the addition of a crispy shell encasing the coconut pudding, turning it into more of a tart. The shell is very thin, and in flavour reminds me of a fortune cookie. The tops may be sprinkled with onion, or the ones we ate also some alternative toppings including sweetcorn.
They are often served by sandwiching two of the half-spheres together. For less than 50p, one receives a large number of these little treats, and I urge you to try them if the opportunity should arise.