Kanom Sai Sai - Kanom Sai Sai ขนมใส่ไส้ หรือ ขนมสอดไส้

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kanom sai sai kanom sai sai

Kanom Sai Sai or Kanom Sod Sai, is a dessert traditionally steamed and sold in banana leaf packets. The name means "filling", emphasizing the importance of the sweet chewy filling. The palm sugar sweetened ball is covered with a chewy wrapper and surrounded with thick creamy salty coconut milk. The salty-sweet smooth flavor and the soft and crunchy mouthfeel makes the dessert delicious. 

When I was a little kid, some staff of the house I grew up in made and sold Kanom Sai Sai in a Sukhumvit neighborhood. I ate them all the time -- so many that I got sick of them and it's only been this week that I've tried them again. Now, coming back to them is like coming home. I quit eating them because they were overpoweringly sweet, so in this recipe, I dialed back the sweetness and balanced out the flavors. These are so much better than the ones I remember. Each bite is like an improved version of the past.

 

Kanom Sai Sai

Kanom Sai Sai ขนมใส่ไส้ หรือ ขนมสอดไส้
4 Servings, Prep Time: 30 Minutes, Total Time: 40 Minutes

Tips and Techniques

  • The filling is too hard to form a ball. - is it cold? If so, warm up the filling just enough to be workable. Be careful not to burn the sugar. 
  • If you start with dark brown palm sugar, your filling will be darker than mine. My palm sugar is relatively new, from my recent trip to Thailand.
  • Cracked surface - steaming too long 
  • Thick and chunky sauce - adding more water and whisk vigorously. You may need to heat up the sauce briefly. 
  • If you have jasmine essence, add a couple of drops into the sauce. Traditionally, the filling balls are infused in the fragrance essence candle overnight.
  • If you choose a banana leaf as a container, it's normal to see some spilled sauce after steaming. A thick sauce will result in a well formed dessert (which looks great) but misses the right consistency.
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