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Dec 13, 2011 11:43 AM

Help me identify this Thai sticky rice desert?

Hi all, first-time poster, longtime occasional lurker.

I had this desert in Tokyo, in a Thai Muslim restaurant:

The reason I mention it was a Muslim resto is because I can't find anything like it here in Calgary, and I'm wondering if it's specific to Thai Malays or other Muslim Thais' cuisine.

It's a (warm) bowl of beautiful sticky little rice balls - sweet little rice balls - in milk. The only deserts I've found online and at local Thai places are the sticky rice and mango, with a big piece of (salty) sticky rice plopped in milk with mango slices.

What I had was completely different. It was intensely sticky and chewy - almost marshmallowey - little balls of rice, sweet, with no mangoes in sight.

Anyone have any idea what I'm on about?

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  1. Sounds like a variation of this:
    It doesn't look like any specific Malaysian dish that I can think of.

    1. This looks like the same dessert.

      Page calls it 'boa lay' which looks to be an incorrect phonetic spelling.

      Maybe BAO something?

      Ok a little more googling suggests it is called BUA LOY or BUA LOI.

      1. I have never seen this before but it looks and sounds great!

        1. If it is tong yuan, then you can make it at home. Buy the sticky rice balls and rock sugar from T&T. I'll look to see if I can find it in my "Thai Street Food" book by David Thompson.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Office Broccoli

            Great idea. As I have celiac I will need to ensure there is no gluten in it. Thankfully many dishes do not! I cook everything from scratch including most condiments so will definitely check this out.

            BTW, "Thai Street Food" is on my Amazon wishlist along with about 150 other books. What is your opinion on the book? Do you know whether many of the recipes contain gluten or not? Thanks!

            1. re: chefathome

              I quite like the book. I showed it to my friend (born and raised Thai now living in Calgary) and she said that its the only English version of recipes that she's seen exclusively in made Thailand. Most of the recipes are gluten free. For baked goods, using mostly rice flour. There are also some exotic ingredients that might be difficult to find in Calgary.

          2. Thanks so much everyone! Much appreciated.