I love food and I have to say that one of my favorite food types is dessert. There are not that many people that don’t really like desserts and even though Asian cuisine is known more for it’s flavourful and spicy dishes I have found on my culinary travels that the desserts are equally as interesting and delicious. Here is a breakdown of the tastiest and most popular dishes in the following countries.
Cambodian desserts are well known throughout Southeast Asia, and fast becoming popular overseas also. They are mainly egg-based with flavors such as vanilla and cinnamon being quite popular. Cambodians love their desserts probably more than others in Southeast Asia and therefore have a wide range. It’s not usually served after a meal or in the evening and is often eaten throughout the day. Ingredients include, mung beans and lotus seeds covered in coconut cream, palm syrup, and/or condensed milk. In markets, dessert ingredients are displayed in large silver bowls on stone counters and patrons point to their desired items which are scooped into a bowl, served over crushed ice, and covered in sweet toppings. Popular Cambodian desserts are Deep-fried Bananas with Caramel Sauce, Khmer Sweet Corn Pudding, Sesame Sticky Rice, and Coconut Custard.
Most of the Laotian desserts are based on rice and also fruits, usually bananas and coconut which is consistent with the majority of other dishes in this landlocked country. Laotian desserts recipes, whilst very similar to Thailand in both name and form, may sometimes exhibit subtle differences. Lao desserts are generally made with the combination of tropical fruits and glutinous rice products. These can vary from types of cakes, to jelly, to drinks, and custards. There is the glutinous rice and bananas, made of a special kind of long rice, coconut milk, salt and sugar and adzuki beans. The kao thom, also named sweet sticky rice is prepared with coconut cream, sugar, bananas, black beans and banana leaves and the sticky rice mango is prepared with glutinous rice, coconut cream, sugar, salt, well chilled and ripe mangoes and toasted sesame seeds. Besides these, there are some desserts which are based on local and exotic fruits.
In Myanmar desserts are not as popular they are in Western meals but there is not a lack of them. The huge mix of indian, chinese and local influences ensures that there are plenty of diverse options. Desserts are usually between-meal snacks made from sticky rice or cool refreshers of shaved ice sweetened with syrup and bits of fruit or beans cooked in sugar. The country has many fruits and one way to exploit this is to prepare various cakes, tarts and pies. The best fact is most of fruits are exotic. This way, the dishes have a unique taste, not only because of the ingredients, but also because of the preparation methods. Burmese people are not strangers to the deserts of the other nations. However, they prefer to prepare and eat their own specialties. The most famous Burmese desserts are Golden Shwe-gi Cake which is a hardened semolina (wheat) porridge cake with poppy seeds, sugar, butter, coconut. Sweet Paratha which comes from the Indian influence and is ghee-enriched dough are stretched out, pounded, and laid out and drizzled with sweet condensed milk. Monpetok which is sweet rice and coconut pyramids and can be served either as dessert or snack and also Thagu-Pyin which is a light and delicious dessert to end a good Burmese meal consisting of dry sago or tapioca with grated coconut and palm sugar or maple syrup.
Thai Dessert has a long history. Back in the olden days, Thai desserts have been known to grace numerous ‘merit making’ ceremonies for people of Thailand, and is indeed a rich Thai life tradition. Palm sugar is a key element to produce the sweet taste in the Thai dishes. Many recipes use this sugar produced from watery sap that drips from cut flower buds of the palm, and is used to make the sauces served especially with the strong flavored Jasmine rice, considered to be on of the highest quality rice in the world. The sweet condiments, such as coconut milk are an important matter that you need to learn how and where to use it when cooking a Thai meal. The most famous Thai dessert and my favourite is mango sticky rice; it is simply delicious and available in almost all the streets in Thailand. The sticky rice first soaked in coconut milk, sugar and salt before steaming in pandan leaves and served as a base accompanied by slices of fresh mango. Khao niew bing (sweet sticky rice wrapped in banana husks) which is sticky rice being slow-cooked in a traditional Thai basket along with coconut milk and sugar before being molded around chunks of banana or sweet taro root, wrapped up in banana leaves, and finally grilled over a fire. I-dtim mat phrao (coconut ice cream) is made with coconut milk rather than cow’s milk, Thai i-dtim is both sweet and refreshing, and locals often take it with kernels of boiled corn or gingko biloba sprinkled on top.
Not all Vietnamese eat desserts as we know them, although an array are always on sale to tempt children and sweet-toothed adults. Generally, meals are finished off with platters of fresh fruit. Here are a few popular Vietnamese dessert recipes. Chè Chuối which is made from banana with sago pearls and coconut milk Sweet Soup. Xôi lá dứa is a very popular dessert in Vietnam and it’s made of pandan-flavored steamed sticky rice covered in sweetened, fragrant coconut milk and also Chè Long Nhãn Hạt Sen which is a longan and lotus Seed Sweet Soup.