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Krong Krang

Klong Klang or Krong Krang nam kati is a gnocchi shaped tapioca that is served in sweetened coconut milk. The name Klong or krong means canal or channel and references the channels or the grooves on the mold that is used to make the tapioca. Krong krang can be served with the sweetened coconut milk or served with other components of nam wan (Lao)/ ruam mit (Thai). They add another layer of complexity and texture to the dessert. Combined with bua loy, tuptim, khao lot song, seasonal fruits, and you would have an impressive nam wan.


• Alternative to cooking the sugar in the sweetened coconut, you can make a simple syrup and add it to the warmed coconut milk like when making khao lot song. This is a great way of making them ahead. All the ingredients can be combined right before serving. You don’t risk the sugar and coconut milk separating in the fridge.
Gnocchi – the motions are exactly like making gnocchi. If you can make gnocchi, you can make krong krang. And practice makes for better.
• Hot water – you need hot to boiling hot water to activate the tapioca starch, otherwise the dough may not come together. Add a little bit of water at a time as you may not need to use it. But if you end up adding too much water, add more tapioca starch and knead until incorporated.
• Coloring – alternatively to adding food coloring to the dough, you can use natural coloring like butterfly pea tea or beet juice. Make sure to heat those liquids up before adding to the dough. As mentioned in previously note, you need hot water to activate the tapioca starch.
• Size matters! – you’ll want to keep the krong krangs as small as possible. If you make larger ones, they can be tougher and chewier. I like gnocchi mold for this purpose. It’s a small mold and if my krong is as wide as the mold, I know it’s too big.
• Sugar and salt – the sugar and salt in the krong krang dough can be optional. You can omit them if you like, but I like to add a little bit of flavor to the tapioca themselves.

Check out Gnocchi molds here!

Krong Krang

Yields: about 100 pieces
Time: 1 hour

1 cup (120g) tapioca starch
2-3 tablespoons (15-22g) rice flour
½ cup (118 ml) hot water
1-2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
Food color (optional)

Sweetened Coconut Milk
500 ml coconut milk
½ cup (100g) palm sugar or granulated sugar
1 pandan leaf
Pinch salt (adjust to taste)

Special equipment
Krong krang mold or a gnocchi mold

• In a saucepan over medium heat, add coconut milk, sugar, salt, and a pandan leaf that has been twisted. Heat until sugar has completely dissolved, and coconut milk just comes to a boil. Don’t let it boil too long as it will curdle. Remove from heat and set aside.
• In a bowl mix tapioca starch, rice flour, sugar, and salt. Mix to combine.
• Slowly add boiling hot water. Carefully, mix the ingredients and knead the dough. Add more water if needed. You may not have to use all the water. Make sure to work the dough well in between additions. The dough should be smooth and stretchy.
• If using food coloring, add a couple drops to the dough and knead until the color is uniform throughout the dough.
• Pinch off a piece of dough and keep the rest of the dough covered in plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.
• Roll the piece of dough into a log and cut small ¼ inch pieces.
• If needed, flour the krong krang/ gnocchi mold with tapioca flour (if your dough is too soft or wet, you may need it).
• Press one piece of the ¼ inch pieces onto the mold with your thumb and drag down form a shell-like shape. Repeat until you have used all the dough.
• To cook the krong krang, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add krong krang and let them boil for a couple of minutes until they appear translucent.
• Add the krong krang to the sweetened coconut milk and serve.

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