Thai Desserts in New York City

Thai Desserts in New York City

Remember, faithful reader, my obsession with Kow Dom Mat, the local dessert I lived off of for two months in Thailand? Save for Sookk on Manhattan’s West Side, I have basked in memories of the street delicacy since then. Surface perusal of Asian bakeries in and about New York’s Chinatown were fruitless and, well, geared towards Chinese confections. But there was one lead I hadn’t pursued in my quest–a website bookmarked in subfolder “To Go & Eat”: Bangkok Center Grocery–a website that had been past on by a roommate-hopeful in my last search over a year ago. I was full of optimism as I set out for Canal Street in the sweltering heat.

Bangkok Center Grocery is located on Mosco street, a narrow little curve connecting Mott and Mulberry streets. Inside I was met with part confused-part amused glances from patrons and store employees, just like it had been in my Thailand travels. Unfazed, I was immediately mesmerized y the hum of the refrigerators. I knew I was onto something. I saw right away the bright, gelatinous confections I had once loved in Thailand! {See here and here and here} I think I started talking to myself and my nose was certainly on the glass when a young Thai women walked towards me, delighted in my delight. I conjured up my best Thai to ask for my beloved Kow Dom Mat. With an immediate spark of understanding, she hurried me to the freezer where there lay Kow Dom Mat–in banana and in tarot. I immediately began babbling on about how I loved them.

Here they are. Four big, frozen Kow Dom Mats or “Frozen Banana Dumpling”, exported by Sethachon or “Food Hut” and distributed in the states by the Maryland-based Eastland Food Corporation. For four big ones, I paid $4.00, far better than Sookk’s $6.00 for one.

Two babies wrapped up tight in banana leaf pose for a picture for a minute in the microwave.

The glistening coconut milk creeps from the folds of banana leaf as my first sits waiting on a doily. I broke out the fancy plate for this occasion.

Unwrapped. Remember the steamed banana turns pink… and those little black beans add some texture. I cannot wait to sink my teeth into the sweetened coconut milk infused sticky rice.

Exactly how I remember it. Taste sure holds onto memories.

Perfect. Now I have a place to satisfy my Kow Dom Mat needs.

Along with the Kow Dom Mat, I just had to pick up some other sweet treats. These simple, sugar-laden Thai desserts use minimal ingredients and are all about the coconut. The green Kanom Chan is made of the highly-glutinous Chan flour (tapioca starch and sweet potato flour), coconut cream and sugar. These beauties are locally made in the Bronx by “O Thai Dessert”. $3

These are almost exact replicas of ones I ate in Sukhothai.

I also picked up “Cassava Dessert” made from cassava (tapioca), shredded coconut and sugar. These I bought because they reminded me of the coconut dreams pictured here my host Urai whipped up for me when I stayed in Bangsai. Here is Urai with some of the kids I met while I was there, from some Canadian guy’s Flickr photostream.

What a wonderful discovery! I will be returning to Bangkok Center Grocery real soon. And someday, back to Thailand to attend their Vegetarian Food Festival… but until then…