Kanom Krok

By • April 12, 2012 • 15 Comments

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Author Notes: I travel to Thailand to visit family about once every two years, and one of my first orders of business every time I arrive is to find the nearest source of kanom krok. These little hotcakes are made by street vendors everywhere in these giant, cast-iron pans -- think aebeliskiver pan on steroids -- and they are served piping hot to eager customers who pop them in their mouths while the cakes are still steaming and gooey with cream. Just writing about it makes me want to hop on the next plane there! You can make a smaller-scale version of these cakes at home with a regular aebeliskiver pan. They are almost as good as the streetside version in Thailand, but you will quickly learn why the vendors there use giant pans -- when you use smaller ones, supply can't keep up with demand! But you can try anyway and just eat the cakes as they finish.

The traditional way to serve these cakes is with a bit of green onion or chive in the middle; Thai cooks love mixing sweet and savory flavors. But if you are uncomfortable with conflating dinner and dessert, you can certainly leave them out. To be honest, I usually do!
vrunka

Food52 Review: Oh my goodness -- these are scrumptious little coconut rice pancake pods that are ridiculously addictive. The outside of the pancakes gets caramelized and slightly crunchy, while the inside remains gooey and creamy. The scent of the rice and coconut milk as it cooks is what I imagine my own personal heaven smells like. Like many travelers to Thailand, I fell in love with Kanom Krok on the streets and have craved it since. This recipe is an excellent approximation of the textures and flavors, and is surprisingly accessible for a western kitchen (okay, the aebeliskiver pan is not in everyone's pantry, but I found all of the ingredients in one trip to a local trustworthy grocer). I made one batch with the optional chives and one without, and definitely preferred those without chives.Chris Van Houten

Makes 30 hotcakes

  • 3 14-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk (approximately 5 1/4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca or corn starch
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 3 teaspoons white rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Canola oil for brushing the pan
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped (optional)
  1. Open all three cans of coconut milk -- be careful not to shake them! Skim off the heavy cream at the top until you have about 1 3/4 cups of heavy cream. Place this cream in a small saucepan along with the sugar, reserving about 2 tablespoons of sugar for later. Bring to a low boil, whisking out the lumps. Remove from heat once the consistency is smooth and the sugar has dissolved. In a small bowl, combine the corn starch with a couple tablespoons of the remaining coconut water and whisk that into the coconut cream.
  2. In a food processor, spice grinder, or mortar and pestle, grind the coconut and the rice until it is a fine, sand-like consistency. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining coconut milk over medium heat until just warmed enough to melt the solids. Remove from heat and whisk in the ground coconut and rice, the rice flour, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Pour into a pitcher or other container with a spout (in Thailand the street vendors use a metal teapot which works great).
  4. Heat the aebelskiver pan over medium high heat. Once hot, brush with a bit of oil. Fill the cups about 3/4 full with the rice batter. Top off each one with the coconut cream. If you are using chives, add them now. Cover with a lid and cook for about 3-5 minutes until the bottom becomes brown and crispy and the top bubbles (the batter will remain a little liquid in the center). Use a spoon (ideally, a metal soup spoon) to remove the cakes. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing pan with oil before each batch.
  5. Serve these one on top of another to make a little globe of sweet, gooey goodness. Eat immediately!
Jump to Comments (15)

Tags: aebelskiver, Asian, street food, sweet savory, Thai, thailand

Comments (15) Questions (0)

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over 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Mmm, how interesting . . . and appealing. I too am ebelskiv-less, but that, obviously, will soon have to be remedied. Great recipe, and both head notes are simply wonderful. Congrats, vrunka, on the CP.

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over 1 year ago LE BEC FIN

i absolutely have to make this now, BUT I am not going to buy an ebelskiv pan. Soooooo- what's your thought: larger ones in bottom of small wok? flat ones in small skillet? appreciate your suggestions on this one.
p.s. I was just thinking... I have a thin metal non- stick egg poaching insert for 5 eggs.i wonder if I could just put that on my gas stove burner.....the drawback being that it is thin. but I can't really lose by trying?

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over 1 year ago vrunka

I'd worry about putting the poaching insert directly on the burner -- it might work to put it inside a pan with a bit of water on the bottom to keep the pan from scorching. I'd be very interested to hear how they turn out if you make them in a larger, flatter pan. Part of the appeal is that the center stays gooey and soft while the outside gets crisp and I'm not sure if you could get the same effect with a different sized pan.

Toronto

over 1 year ago Chris Van Houten

I just tested this recipe as part of the best coconut contest, and I immediately have to thank you for sharing, vrunka! I fell in love with these street treats in Thailand and am so glad I now have a recipe I can make in my kitchen here in the US. Congratulations and khab khun krap!

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over 1 year ago vrunka

Hi Chris, so glad you enjoyed the recipe! They're a great way to tide you over until your next trip to Thailand! ;)

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over 1 year ago Sipa

"In a small bowl, combine the corn starch with a couple tablespoons of the remaining coconut water and whisk that into the coconut cream." What coconut water are you talking about in this part of the instructions? I don't see it as an ingredient.

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over 1 year ago vrunka

Hi Sipa -- when you open a can of coconut milk you have coconut cream on the top and coconut water on the bottom -- the first sentence in the first step describes how to separate the two. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

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over 1 year ago clintonhillbilly

I love these things! There's a Thai couple that makes them at a farmer's market here in LA (interestingly, fresh aebelskivers are sold at the same farmer's market).

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

These sound amazing!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

oh, dear. I forgot an ingredient -- there's supposed to be 2 teaspoons of salt that gets added to the rice batter!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Delish! Make sure to tell me the next time you make these, and I'll head on over. I'm a huge fan of coconut.

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over 2 years ago LE BEC FIN

pp. that's chaukoh.

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over 2 years ago LE BEC FIN

p.s. i bet you could save yourself alot of trouble by just using rice flour instead of grinding the rice...?
best,
mindy

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over 2 years ago vrunka

Hi Mindy, thanks for the suggestion. the recipe actually calls for two different kinds of rice -- flour and ground -- to give it slightly different textures. it's pretty subtle, though, so you could just substitute three additional tablespoons of rice flour. thanks for the tip on the coconut milk!

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over 2 years ago LE BEC FIN

oooh oooh oooh!!!!! Melty coconut insides!!! Fan TAStic! vrunka, i have been making alot of coconut milk pancake recipes for this contest and I have found that the Chaucoh coconut millk is very thick throughout the can. I really like this brand.