Khao tom

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Khao tom
Lao cuisine khaotom.jpg
Khao tom can be either savory or sweet. This one from Laos, with a pork fat and mung bean filling, is savory.
Alternative namesKhao tom mat
Khao tom phat
Place of originMainland Southeast Asia
Region or stateSoutheast Asia
Associated national cuisineThailand and Laos
Main ingredientsSticky rice, banana leaves, coconut milk
VariationsKhao tom mat sai kluai, Khao tom mat sai mu, Khao tom mat sai phueak
Thai khao tom is sometimes colored blue with Clitoria ternatea flowers

Khao tom (Lao: ເຂົ້າຕົ້ມ; Thai: ข้าวต้ม, pronounced [kʰâ(ː)w tôm]; also spelled kao tom), or Khao tom mat (Thai: ข้าวต้มมัด, pronounced [kʰâ(ː)w tôm mát]) is a Southeast Asian dessert eaten by Laotian and Thai people, consisting of seasoned steamed sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves.[1] Other names include Khao tom mad, Khao tom kluai, Khao tom phat, and Khao tom luk yon.

Dishes that are similar to Khao tom mat can also be found in the Philippines (known as suman), Cambodia (known as ansom chek), Indonesia (lepet) and foods from Vietnam such as bánh tét and Bánh chưng.


This dessert can be either savoury (filled with pork fat and mung bean) or sweet (filled with coconut milk and banana). In Thailand, Khao tom mat is sometimes colored blue with Clitoria ternatea flowers. Typically Khao tom mat have Black beens and Banana as the main ingredients. The Khao tom mat various flavors by the ingredients used inside i.e. Taro, Banana, Pork, etc, brought each name to Khao tom mat; Khao tom mat sai pheuak (Taro), Khao tom mat sai kluai (Banana), Khao tom mat sai mu (Pork).[2][3]


The Sai Krachat tradition (ประเพณีใส่กระจาด), also known as Suea Krachat or Soe Krachat in Phuan language is a merit-making Buddhist tradition of the Thai Phuan people of in Ban Mi District, Lopburi Province. It takes place on the eve of the Great Birth Sermon celebration. One day prior to the Sai Krachat Day, people wrap khao tom and grind rice for khao pun rice noodles. The next day is the Sai Krachat Day when people bring things such as bananas, sugar cane, oranges, candles, and joss sticks or other items to put into the bamboo baskets at the houses of the people they know, while the hosts bring the prepared food to welcome their guests. When the visitors wish to go home, the host gives khao tom mat as a souvenir in return called Khuen Krachat.[4]

Khao tom mat packed as a pair
Khao tom mat showing the filling

In Thailand, khao tom mat is the symbol of couples because the couple are matched and bound together with thin bamboo-strip (string). Thai people believe that if a pair of people offer khao tom mat to monks on Khao Phansa Day, which is beginning of the 3 months of Buddhist lent during the rainy season and the time when monks retreat to a monastery and concentrate on Buddhist teachings,[5] married life will be smooth and there will be a stable love like a pair of khao tom mat.

Khao tom mat is also a traditional Thai dessert for Ok Phansa Day (the end of Buddhist lent in late October.), but it is then called Khao tom luk yon (Thai: ข้าวต้มลูกโยน). It is wrapped up in a young mangrove fan palm leaf (Thai: ใบกะพ้อ) with long-tails to hold before tossing them to a Buddha image, after which monks can carry them away.

In 2014, the Department of Cultural Promotion under the Ministry of Culture, registered the Khao tom mat as an intangible cultural heritage, in the Knowledge and Practices Concerning Nature and the Universe category, to prevent them from being lost along with other cultural heritage.[6]:31[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sticky Rice with Bananas Archived 2013-06-03 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Thai Wisdom: Wrappers in Thai Dessert". Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  3. ^ "The 15 Most Delightful Popular Thai Desserts to Indulge In". Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  4. ^ Steamed glutinous rice cakes with banana recipe
  5. ^ "Khao tom mat–banana sticky rice and coconut". Archived from the original on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  6. ^ Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory (PDF), retrieved March 10, 2021
  7. ^ "ประกาศ! ข้าวต้มมัด-เมี่ยงคำ เป็นมรดกเสี่ยงสูญหายของชาติ". เอ็มไทยดอตคอม. 11 September 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.


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