Having previously featured the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, we have decided to add a brief list of Vegan Thai Desserts from the Phuket Vegetarian Festival.
We’ve included a few of our favorite Khanoms alongside sweet drinks and some unique Hokkien (Chinese) inspired treats. For more details on some of these snacks, take a look at 40 Foods To Try At The Phuket Vegetarian Festival in 2017 from Kip at Messy Vegan Cook.
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival was more subdued for 2017 due to the extended mourning period for King Rama IX. Many of the festivities were toned down or omitted and overall there were fewer vendors and attendees. This was in stark contrast to 2016, when the festival coincided with Chinese Golden Week – a period when over 500 million Chinese tourists go on holiday.
The Vegetarian Festival, also known as The Nine Emperor Gods Festival, is celebrated throughout Thailand, with a large presence in the Chinatown neighborhood of Bangkok, and other parts of Southeast Asia, notably Penang, Malaysia.
The dates for the 2018 Phuket Vegetarian Festival are October 8th-17th.
Chinese Bean Cakes
Many Chinese style cakes and cookies can be found during the festival, including these bready, flaky cubes with a variety of dense, sweet fillings that include red bean, mung bean and lotus paste.
There’s a reason these freshly made corn milks come in such small bottles, they’re delicious and naturally almost cloyingly sweet.
Hairy Basil Seed Drinks
There are all sorts of super sweet and colorful drinks available on the streets, the ones with hairy basil seeds aren’t just eye-catching though, they’re often quite tasty. Available in a variety of flavors.
Hokkien Alkaline Cake
This bouncy rice flour cake gets its distinctive eggy flavor and aroma from the added alkaline water. It wouldn’t be complete without a generous drizzle of palm sugar syrup.
Layers made from starches, coconut milk, jasmine water and other flavors and colors create this soft, chewy and slightly sticky ancient Thai dessert. The blue in this Khanom Chan is from the butterfly pea flower.
Grilled palm leaves filled with a chewy sweet paste of palm sugar, coconut meat and sticky rice flour.
Khanom Kai Nok Krata
Made from a dough of starch, baking powder and sweet potato; these crisp little fried balls are soft and chewy inside and dangerously hot when fresh.
A specialty in Phuket, these bouncy little alkaline cakes topped with grated coconut are made with palm sugar, rice flour, a touch of salt and pandan on occasion.
A creamy coconut batter is cooked in a special spherical pan that provides a crisp exterior and a soft, rich custard center. Best consumed while they are fresh and still hot.
Khanom Piak Poon
A gelatinous pandan custard with grated coconut. A special find from a small vendor only open in the evenings on Thanon Krabi in Phuket Town.
Khanom Sod Sai
Wrapped in banana leaves, a soft and creamy coconut milk and rice flour exterior encases a grated coconut and palm sugar filling.
Light and fluffy toddy palm muffins similar to Khanom Tuay Foo. Served with grated coconut on top.
Khanom Tang Taek
A thick, spongy folded pancake with a coconut custard filling. Other filling options are often also available.
Khanom Tuay Foo
These Thai steamed muffins are similar to a Chinese steamed muffin. Light and airy and available in a variety of colors and flavors.
Small bamboo poles filled with sticky rice, black beans and sweetened coconut milk. Roasted over an open fire and entertainingly opened with a hatchet.
Khao Mao Tod
Deep fried balls of green young rice and grated coconut with a banana in the middle.
Khao Niao Ping
Sticky rice with coconut milk wrapped in banana leaves and grilled. Choice of fillings often include corn, banana, coconut and taro.
Khao Niao with Toppings
A variety of coconut sticky rice desserts. Toppings including coconut custard (sang kaya), jackfruit (kanun), coffee seasoned coconut, and tom yum spiced coconut.
Crisp fried sticky rice cakes glazed with a drizzle of thick brown sugar.
Khao Tom Mud
Banana and black beans with coconut milk sweetened sticky rice steamed in a banana leaf.
Local Phuket Specialties
Clockwise from top: sticky rice with candied coconut, radish cake served with sugar, sticky rice with jackfruit, peanut and syrup filled sticky rice flour balls and palm sugar alkaline cakes with grated coconut.
Thick and chewy pandan noodles in syrup with melon and coconut milk, especially refreshing with a bit of crushed ice.
This unique banana flour and fig seed jelly is an old Hokkien dish that’s also popular in Taiwan and can be difficult to find. Often served with red beans, grass jelly, syrup and crushed ice.
Chewy little bitesized pancakes made from glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, sugar and shredded coconut.
This variety of Khao Niao Ping is a Phuket specialty. Sticky rice is wrapped around roasted grated coconut with black pepper and sugar, folded inside a banana leaf and grilled. It’s a sweet and savory delight with a tinge of smokiness. The typical non-vegan version includes ground dried shrimp.
Pa Thong Ko
A fairly light and airy Thai take on a Chinese cruller, these donuts are often sold with a pandan coconut custard.
Phuket Pa Thong Ko
This Phuket variation of the Pa Thong Ko, with a Thai name derived from its four legged shape, has a more dense dough with a sprinkle of crunchy sugar added to it before frying.
A flaky, buttery roti topped with condensed coconut milk and sugar.
Roti Sai Mai
Thin colorful rotis, similar to a popiah wrapper, paired with candy floss. Watching the roti being made by hand is as much fun as assembling and actually eating the bright Roti Sai Mai.
Chinese style steamed bao with sweet and savory options. This green pandan coconut custard (kaya) filling is also popular in Malaysia and Singapore.
Tab Tim Grob
This refreshing dessert combines water chestnuts, some dyed red and coated in tapioca starch to form chewy little dumplings, with jasmine or pandan syrup and coconut milk.
Thick and creamy coconut custard with a hint of saltiness sits atop a layer of tapioca or sago jelly. Corn, taro, grated coconut or other ingredients are often added to the jelly.
Thai Iced Coffee, Thai Iced Tea & Chocolate Soy Milk
It can be tough to resist a sweet, spiced creamy soy milk based Thai iced coffee or tea; or when you want something even more rich and sweet, a thick chocolate soy milk.
Our photos are from the 2016 & 2017 Phuket Vegetarian Festival.