Thai Sweet Potato Balls (Kanom Kai Hong)



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(2 Ratings)

Preparation time
30 mins

Cooking time
20 mins

Approx. 24 balls

This is the best recipe I’ve found for kanom kai hong, a traditional Thai dessert. It’s similar in concept to Chinese sesame seed balls, so if you like those, you’ll probably enjoy these. I’ve carried this recipe with me for over 10 years, in the form of a ripped page passed down to me from my oldest sister. She used to make these for us when we were younger, and so I’ve always had fond memories associated with them.

This version of kanom kai hong is more complex than other recipes I’ve found. For one, there’s filling (which is optional) and the final step requires coating the balls with sugared water. Though more complicated, I think this is why this recipe is exceptional.

Thai Sweet Potato Balls (Kanom Kai Hong), 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings


    For the filling:
  • 1 cup green beans, soaked in water for at least 8 hours
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

  • For the dough:
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • For frying / final step:
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water


For the filling:

1. Rinse green beans, and boil until soft. Drain and mash.

2. Mix in sugar, shredded coconut, salt and pepper.

3. In a pan, stir and cook mixture over low heat until almost dry. Let mixture cool, then form into small balls. Set aside.

For the dough:

1. Skin sweet potato and cut into small pieces. Steam potato pieces until cooked, then mash while hot.

2. Mix in glutinous rice flower, coconut milk and salt. Knead dough, and divide dough into balls large enough to hold filling. Stuff each dough with filling.

3. Heat wok or pot with oil on high heat. Test the oil temperature by inserting the tip of a chopstick; if bubbles form around it, the oil is hot enough. Reduce heat to medium, and add in the filled balls, turning to ensure uniform cooking. Remove cooked balls onto paper towel.

4. In a separate wok, heat sugar and water until sugar is dissolved. Add cooked balls and stir constantly until balls are coated with the sugar mixture. Set aside and serve when cooled.

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