Thursday, March 20, 2008

My First Attempt At Khao Tom

One of my favorite sweet snacks my mom used to make as I was growing up is khao tom. It is steamed sweet rice with bananas wrapped in banana leaves. There are many versions of it (some have red beans mixed in with the rice, some have mung bean fillings, and there are savory versions). I've watched my mom make them plenty of times but I have never attempted to make them on my own until now. This recipe is my interpretation of khao tom.

2 1/2 C sweet rice that's been soaked over night
1 can of coconut milk
3 unripe bananas
1/4 C white sugar
pinch of salt
1 package of banana leaves
cooking twine or aluminum foil
Makes 12 bundles

To a large pot, I added the coconut milk,sugar, and salt on medium-low heat. Once it started to thicken up a little bit I added my presoaked, uncooked sweet rice. I stirred it until it got thick and almost looked like porridge. I took the pot off the burner and let the mixture cool down.

Once the rice mixture was cool enough to handle, I started to assemble the khao tom. I sliced the bananas lengthwise into quarters. I placed the cleaned banana leaf down, added a layer of the rice mixture topped with a banana slice, then another layer of the rice mixture.

Then the entire thing is folded up. I somehow forgot to take a picture of this step.

I used aluminum foil, because I didn't have any twine. Both are used to secure the bundles, preventing the banana leaf to become undone while cooking. I steamed all 12 for about 35-40 minutes.

And this is how it turned out. Not bad for my first attempt. It was delicious. I love the flavors of rice with coconut milk, sugar, and banana leaf.