"These sweet little delights are sold as a street-food snack all through Laos. They are very addictive, so you’ll find yourself having a dozen all to yourself. I came across a lady making these cakes on a bicycle cart during the busy New Year’s festival. She kindly agreed to teach me, so we prepared 10 litres of batter and sold out within the hour. Each portion had six cakes and we sold them for $1, in an intricate hand-folded banana leaf cup — bargain! You can buy special pans designed for these cakes from Asian suppliers. Ask for ‘khao nom kok’ pans, or ‘banh khot’ pans. You can also use a Dutch pancake pan." – Chef Luke Nguyen

MAKES 25-35


500 ml coconut milk
375 g rice flour
125 g caster sugar
vegetable oil, for brushing


Place the coconut milk, rice flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt and 500 ml water and whisk until completely smooth.

Heat a khao nom kok pan or a Dutch pancake pan to medium. Brush each mould or hole with vegetable oil.

Before proceeding, make sure the pan is hot, or the cakes will be difficult to remove. Pour the batter into each mould, close the lid and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until the cakes are browned and crisp, but still moist in the centre.

Using an oiled stainless steel Chinese soup spoon or a teaspoon, remove the cakes from the pan.

Cook the remaining batter in the same way. Serve hot.

Recipe from Luke's Book - From China to Vietnam: A Journey Down the Mekong River. Click here to purchase the book now.

Phuong Nguyen