Chiang Mai Coconut 'Cocaine'

We first picked up these cute little coconut cookies while wondering around a morning market in Chiang Mai however you can find them in many street side snack stalls, touristy souvenir shops and supermarkets throughout Thailand.

Khanom Ping - dangerously addictive
Khanom Ping - dangerously addictive

DO NOT TRY THESE. So ridiculously addictive are these popcorn like morsels that, after my fifth pack, I was tap-tapping my fingers on the table trying to figure out how to get more. What did they lace these with??

I find out from hotel concierge they're called Khanom Ping. Khanom is Thai for "snack". They're the Thai version of my childhood favourite Nyona cookies Kueh Bangkit, with a sweeter and almost burnt / charcoal flavour and a crispier texture. My poor grandma would search relentlessly until she found an old Aunty hand-making Kueh Bangkit in some middle of nowhere kampung to bring over to New Zealand since they're traditionally only made for Chinese New Year.

Khanom Ping have an intriguing light and crispy texture like meringue, delicately flavoured with coconut and not too sweet. Once you pop one into your mouth it dissolves instantly between your tongue and the roof of your mouth. #Foodporn. It's that unique dissolving sensation that creates the die-hard moreishness.

Made from coconut milk, tapioca flour, sugar and egg yolks, these babies are not diet-friendly. Matt understood immediately why he liked them so much when I explained one of the main ingredients was tapioca flour which is the same as his beloved vege chips.

If you are game to pack on a couple kilos very quickly, make sure you get the least commercial looking Khanom Ping you can find. As with any Asian food, the more handmade / 'street' / authentic or as we like to say, "jungle", the better. Supermarket Khanom Ping or any that have been packaged and sealed as below are missing the melt-in-your-mouth feel from being overbaked for a longer shelf life.

Supermarket Khanom Ping - boo, thumbs down
Supermarket Khanom Ping - not jungle enough

If you're going to get them from the supermarket, go for these ones, they're the closest you'll get to hand made:

The best supermarket-bought Khanom Ping
The best supermarket-bought Khanom Ping

What's your favourite Khanom?