When you are travelling, one of the highlights is always tasting the local specialties. Last weekend I was in Nakhon Pathom which is famous for khao lam – which is sticky rice cooked in a bamboo tube. There are different recipes. You can use either black or white sticky rice. Some will also have black beans. The white in this picture is egg custard. This dessert is flavoured with coconut milk. There is another version in Chonburi and I will show you the difference later.
When you buy them you usually have to say how many bamboo tubes you want. The classifier for this is “grabok”. They are usually 35 baht each or three for 100 baht. I bought a bundle of three and she threw in a thinner tube for free. It is so nice when they do this. Around some tourist attractions, some vendors get greedy when they see foreigners and will try and overcharge. After you have chosen which one, she will ask whether you want her to crack it open. Even if you are taking it home it is probably a good idea to get her to do this. You can see in the above picture that she has got the machete out and is chopping away. Make sure you stand back. I had one for lunch and it was so tasty that I went back to get another bundle. Not for myself, but for friends back home. Whenever I tell Thai people that I have been away for the weekend, the first thing they always ask is, what food did I bring back for them!
If you haven’t tried khao lam already, then do try the next time you get a chance. As well as Central Thailand, they have a version in the north.
Thai name: ข้าวหลาม