Khanom Khao Pod is a well known sweet snack in Thailand made with ground sticky rice and sweet corn as the main ingredients. There are many different variations on the recipe but the one I describe below is the traditional and most common version, and the one prepared by my Thai wife in the pictures below.
Step 1: Prepare the sweetcorn and coconut
The flesh of an older coconut is scrapped out and sweetcorn on the cob is sliced off into thin pieces. For each kilo of sweetcorn you need approximately 700 grams of coconut flesh.
Step 2: Grind the sticky rice into powder
This is the hard part of the recipe. Dry sticky rice is difficult to grind with as pestle and mortar. Use a blender if you have one or alternatively you can purchase powdered sticky rice pretty much everywhere in Thailand, but you might struggle to find this pre-prepared product outside of South East Asia. For each 1 kilo of sweetcorn you need around 1.5 kilo of ground uncooked sticky rice.
Step 3: Combine the ingredients
To the sweetcorn and ground sticky rice the only other other things you add are sugar (about 500 grams for each 1 kilo of sweetcorn) and some salt. In some recipes you will be advised to add coconut milk. This is a mistake and a poor substitute for using the drier coconut flesh. The problem with adding coconut is that the mixture already has water from the sweetcorn, by adding coconut milk you increase the amount of water in the mixture and it won’t reach the right consistency and taste during the cooking process.
Step 4: Stuff the leaves from the sweetcorn with the mixture
This is another time consuming process. You are looking at making at least 20 parcels per 1 kilo of sweetcorn. This is a dish you need to make in volume. Khao Khao Pod keeps well for a few days but it reacts poorly to being frozen so make sure you invite your friends and family around is you cooking this dish.
Step 5: Steam the parcels
The cooking time in the steam is approximately 30 minutes although the cooking time is likely to be affected by how many parcels you cram into your steamer.
Step 6: Let the Khanom Khao Pod cool down before you eat them
When they come out of the steamer the parcels will be very hot. Be particularly careful to check that they are cool enough before you let young children touch them. Ours were still very hot an hour after turning the steamer off.
- Cooking Tip: We recommend against keeping these parcels in the fridge. They will taste best if you eat them as snacks over the following 24 hours at room temperature, unless you are in a country with a low ambient temperature in which case a short time in a microwave to reheat will make them taste better.