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Bua Loy (Glutinous Rice Balls in Coconut Milk)

Bua Loy, translating to “floating lotus”, is a dessert as beautiful as it is named. Bright orange and green orbs intermingling and floating in a sea of white coconut milk, it is a traditional Thai soupy dessert that is fragrant and will satisfy any sweet tooth. While relatively easy to prepare, there are quite some steps to do but trust us, the result is worth every minute!

Pumpkin Bua Loy: 60 g pumpkin (diced and steamed) | You can replace pumpkin with taro, kabocha squash or sweet potato.

  • 55 g glutinous rice flour

  • water

  • 70 g glutinous rice flour

  • 70 g pandan leaf (cut into 1 cm segments)

  • 205 ml water

  • ¼ cup pandan water

Coconut soup:

  • 250 ml coconut milk

  • 2 tbsp sugar

  • 1 tbsp palm sugar

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 1 pandan leaf (knotted)


To make the pumpkin rice balls

  • Mash the steamed pumpkin to a puree and add glutinous riceflour. Knead until combined into a sandy textured dough.

  • Add water, 1 tsp by 1 tsp at a time, until the dough comes together with a sheen.

  • This is typically 5-6 tsp.

  • Roll into small marble sized balls.

To make the pandan rice balls

  • In a blender, blend the pandan leaves and water until broken down.

  • Remove liquid and green pulp and strain (squeeze) to extract as much liquid as possible. Use ¼ cup pandan water and store the remaining in the fridge for further use.

  • Prepare the pandan bua loy by mixing the pandan water with glutinous riceflour. Add more flour if the dough is too thin, or more pandan water if too thick

  • Roll dough into marble sized balls.

Cooking the coconut soup

  • Make the coconut milk soup by adding the coconut milk, both kinds of sugar, salt and knotted pandan leaf to a small saucepan and simmer for a few minutes.

  • Do not boil.

  • Discard pandan leaf.

Cooking the pumpkin and pandan balls

  • Bring a pot of water to the boil and tip in all of the pumpkin and pandan balls.

  • Boil for 30 seconds to a minute, or until all the balls are floating.

  • Strain with a spider or mesh strainer and divide up amongst some bowls.

Plate and Serve!

Pour the warm sweetened coconut milk over and serve.

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