Street food : Khanom Beaung (Thai crispy pancake)

16 Jul

Yesterday my friend and I were supposed to meet up for a quiet lunch, but instead I found myself in a popular mall called MBK in the middle of Bangkok’s busy shopping strip, famous for buying and selling mobile phones. My friend needed a new phone so I tagged along with her hopeing  that we would chit-chat once the phone buying was done. However, it took much longer than we expected, and we were hungry…

My friend Agg dragged me to one of the stalls selling “Khanom Beaung” or Thai crispy pancake, made with batter mix, top with  cream coconut flakes and strands of sweetened egg yolk. They were bigger than the ones I usually get on street, and sold for 10 baht each.

Giant crispy pancakes @ MBK Bangkok

Giant crispy pancakes @ MBK Bangkok

The origin of Khanom Beaung is said to be derived from the Ayudhaya Period (approx 300 years ago) by Marie Guimar de Pihna, a Thai-borne Japanese-Portuguese – Bengali lady. She played a very important role in introducing new, Portuguese-influenced dessert recipes to the Ayudhaya court, especially those with an egg-yolk base. It was one of these desserts that were sold during royal festivals.

Commoners were not really introduced to royal desserts until about 40-50 years ago. I’ve read a book about Marie Guimar de Pihna and her husband, they have pretty fascinating lives, it’s really worth googling.

Making Thai Crispy pancakes

Making Thai Crispy pancakes

When I was young, this pancake was one of my favourite snacks. After school, I would go out in front of the school’s gate where they sell lots of street food and buy them for one baht each. I even tried to make one myself. When I think about it now, the shape of it is somewhat similar to a taco, and many people refer to them as “Thai tacos.”

Agg ended up buying one and asked me if I wanted one, I politely declined since I’ve tried them before at the mall and they are too sweet for me. Maybe next week I’ll go hunting for my childhood pancake stall. I hope that it’s still in business. 



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