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Khao Tom Mud Recipe (Banana Sticky Rice Dessert)

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My grandmother’s authentic khao tom mud recipe is full of sweet bananas mixed with creamy coconut milk. Thai banana sticky rice dessert is a favorite in Thailand that you can now easily recreate at home!

Khao tom mud, Thai sticky rice banana dessert, presented in banana leaves and a bamboo basket.

Also written as khao tom mad and khao tom mat, this one holds a special place in my heart. I have many memories of it, as my grandmother makes this banana dessert for nearly every family gathering and our visits to the village temple for festival activities.

She swears by using ‘khiew ngu white glutinous rice’. She says this type of rice is perfect for making sticky rice desserts and for ‘khao niao mun’, which is the Thai method of soaking steamed Thai sticky rice in coconut milk.

What is khao tom mud

Khao tom mud is a traditional Thai dessert made of sticky rice and sweet bananas soaked in coconut milk. You can find variations with taro, black beans, sweet potato, black sesame seeds, or peanuts, all wrapped in banana leaves.


Khao translates to rice, tom means boiling, and mud is wrapping. Sometimes, it’s called khao tom pad too.

Traditional Thai banana sticky rice dessert wrapped in banana leaves.

Traditionally, the rice was fried with coconut milk, salt, and sugar. These days, some people will steam the sticky rice and then soak it in coconut milk, similar to how you’d make Thai mango sticky rice or khao niao mamuang.

The steaming and soaking method can save you time, but I personally prefer the traditional method because it keeps the rice grains intact.

Banana sticky rice

Banana sticky rice dessert is really popular in Isan, the Northeastern part of Thailand where I’m from. My grandmother has been making it since her childhood, so rest assured, you’re getting the real deal here.

Elderly Thai woman in traditional clothing joyfully eating a homemade khao tom mud.
Khao tom mud is my grandmother’s favorite dessert.

The preparation begins with soaking glutinous rice and black beans. After that, the beans are cooked.

Next, we fry the soaked glutinous rice with creamy coconut milk, salt, and some sugar. Once it’s done, we stir in the cooked beans.

We’ll then wrap this delicious mixture in banana leaves and steam it. The goal is to get the inside soft and perfectly melded together.

It’s really not complicated, just follow the easy step-by-step images and make sure you use the right type of bananas.

Which bananas to use

For the best texture and taste, I highly recommend using kluay nam wa. These Thai bananas are firm and don’t turn mushy when steamed. They’re the same type of bananas used for making Thai fried bananas and fried banana chips.

Thai kluay nam wa bananas growing on tree.
Thai kluay nam wa bananas growing on a banana tree.

While living in Belgium, I tried making khao tom mud using supermarket bananas, and they just didn’t hold up. They would always turn soft and mushy during cooking.

Your best bet for finding kluay nam wa is to ask around at Asian grocery stores. Many of them import fresh fruits directly from Southeast Asia, so you’re more likely to find these firm bananas there.

Ingredients

For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for khao tom mud labeled: glutinous rice, bananas, black beans, coconut milk, salt, white sugar, and thin bamboo sticks.
  • Banana leaves – This dessert is wrapped in sun-dried banana leaves.
  • Glutinous rice – When steamed, glutinous rice becomes sticky and chewy, perfectly absorbing the rich flavors of coconut milk.
  • Coconut milk – Full-fat coconut milk is essential for a rich, creamy taste.
  • White sugar – White sugar is crucial for adding sweetness. Feel free to adjust the amount according to your taste preferences.
  • Black beans – Cooked black beans add texture and flavor to the dessert. You can try different fillings, I’ve made a list after the instructions for alternatives.
  • Salt – A pinch of salt is needed to enhance all the flavors, balancing the sweetness of the dessert.
  • Bamboo sticks – After spooning the filling onto the banana leaf, we secure it with a thin bamboo stick. If you don’t have bamboo sticks, you can use a butcher’s twine, a heat-resistant silicone band, or a cotton string.

How to make khao tom mud

Step 1: Soak glutinous rice in water for 3 hours. Soak black beans in a separate bowl for 3 hours. After 3 hours, drain glutinous rice. Boil black beans over medium heat in a pot until they’re soft, about 20 minutes, and drain.

Banana leaves sun-drying and heated over stove.

Step 2: Sun-dry your banana leaves or gently heat them over the stove-top over low heat until they’re pliable.

Sticky rice and coconut milk mixture cooked in a wok.

Step 3: In a wok or pot over medium heat, cook drained glutinous rice, salt, white sugar, and coconut milk until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Remove from heat and then stir in the cooked black beans.

Hand holding a sliced banana.

Step 4: Slice your banana in 2 or 3 pieces, as per your preference. Peel the slices only before adding them to the fillings.

Cutting banana leaves with scissors.

Step 5: Use scissors to cut your banana leaves into circles – one large circle and one smaller circle for each khao tom mud.

How-to instructions for banana sticky rice filling.

Step 6: Use a clean towel to clean each circle. Place a smaller circle on top of a larger circle. The smallest circle has the green side facing upwards, and the larger circle has it facing downwards. Spoon a generous tablespoon of filling onto the smallest circle, add a banana slice, and top with another tablespoon of filling.

Step-by-step images for wrapping banana leaf for sticky rice dessert.

Step 7: Fold your banana leaf around the filling, and make sure the filling is centered.

Instructional images for wrapping banana leaf.

Step 8: Secure the banana leaves at both ends.

Steamed khao tom mud in a steamer.

Step 9: Steam in a steamer over medium heat for 30 minutes. Serve warm or let it cool. Enjoy!

Kitchenware

  • Cutting board and a sharp knife for slicing bananas
  • Large bowls for soaking and mixing
  • Spoon or spatula for mixing
  • Large frying pan or wok
  • Steaming pot

sticky rice banana dessert tips

Banana leaves alternative: If you don’t have banana leaves for wrapping, you can use corn husk, parchment paper, or aluminum foil.

Banana leaves quality: Use only banana leaves that are in good condition.

Purple rice: Instead of using white rice, you can try a variation with Thai purple sticky rice.

Sweetness: If you like your banana sticky rice dessert less sweet, start with less sugar and taste the mixture before wrapping.

Fillings: Black beans are common, but feel free to experiment with other options like taro, sweet potato, black sesame seeds, and peanuts.

Thai sticky rice with banana serving suggestions

Just like grilled bananas and bananas in coconut milk, khao tom mud is a dessert or snack that can also be enjoyed throughout the day. Sometimes I even have it for breakfast. It’s a pretty common find at the morning Thai food markets in Isan, so don’t limit yourself to having it after dinner only.

Unwrapped khao tom mud revealing the tender, sticky rice with black beans, ready to enjoy.

Storing and reheating kao tom mud

You can keep these at room temperature for several hours. For longer storage, let your leftover coconut sticky rice dessert cool down to room temperature. Then, transfer them in an airtight container and keep it in your fridge. They’ll stay fresh for up to 3 days.

Freezing: These are perfect for freezing. They’ll keep well for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the fridge overnight. To cook frozen khao tom mad, just defrost and reheat in the microwave.

Reheating: Use the microwave for about a minute or steam them until warm and soft.

Frequently asked questions

Is this recipe suited for vegans?

Yes. This dessert is perfect for vegans and vegetarians.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Yes. All ingredients used are gluten-free.

Authentic Thai dessert recipes

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Khao Tom Mud Recipe (Banana Sticky Rice Dessert)

Khao tom mud, Thai sticky rice banana dessert, presented in banana leaves and a bamboo basket.
Authentic khao tom mud recipe for making a delicious banana sticky rice dessert at home. I made 9 khao tom mud, each with 2 pieces.
Praew
Cuisine Thai
Course Dessert
Serving Size 9

Ingredients

  • 2 cups glutinous rice
  • 1.5 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 3 large banana leaves see notes
  • thin bamboo sticks see notes

Instructions

  • Soak glutinous rice in water for 3 hours. Soak black beans in a separate bowl for 3 hours. After 3 hours, drain glutinous rice. Boil black beans over medium heat in a pot until they’re soft, about 20 minutes, and drain.
  • Sun-dry your banana leaves or gently heat them over the stove-top over low heat until they’re pliable.
  • In a wok or pot over medium heat, cook drained glutinous rice, salt, white sugar, and coconut milk until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Remove from heat and then stir in the cooked black beans.
  • Slice your banana in 2 or 3 pieces, as per your preference. Peel the slices only before adding them to the fillings.
  • Use scissors to cut your banana leaves into circles – one large circle and one smaller circle for each khao tom mud.
  • Use a clean towel to clean each circle. Place a smaller circle on top of a larger circle. The smallest circle has the green side facing upwards, and the larger circle has it facing downwards. Spoon a generous tablespoon of filling onto the smallest circle, add a banana slice, and top with another tablespoon of filling.
  • Fold your banana leaf around the filling, and make sure the filling is centered.
  • Secure the banana leaves at both ends.
  • Steam in a steamer over medium heat for 30 minutes. Serve warm or let it cool. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Banana leaves: This dessert is wrapped in sun-dried banana leaves. If you don't have banana leaves for wrapping, you can use corn husk, parchment paper, or aluminum foil.
  • Thin bamboo sticks: After spooning the filling onto the banana leaf, we secure it with a thin bamboo stick. If you don't have bamboo sticks, you can use a butcher's twine, a heat-resistant silicone band, or a cotton string.
  • I made 9 khao tom mud, each with 2 pieces.

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