Nam Kheang Sai means ‘shaved ice’ in Thai. This a traditional Thai desert dating back hundreds of years to the time ice first came to Thailand. That must have been a great moment for Bangkokers as it gets incredibly hot in the city. It is hard to escape the heat when there is no beach nearby.
Originally Nam Kheang Sai Was Only for the Rich
Originally Nam Kheang Sai was only available to the very rich, but with the introduction of ice making machines to Thailand it became available to the wider population. It is still eaten all over Thailand. It is sold by vendors from hand carts. The recipe remains largely unchanged, although most vendors now use a hand powered machine to cut the ice rather than a knife or mandolin slicer.
Now The Dish Is Very Cheap
The vendor in the pictures was outside Hua Lamphong train Station in Bangkok. This delicacy cost the princely sum of 15 Thai Baht (less than half an American dollar).
Fruit and Sweets Form the Bottom Layer
The first stage of the process is filling the bowl with fruit or sweets. I had longon and nata cubes (a coconut extract).
Shaved Ice Comes Next
Next the ice is shaved and placed on top. The next stage of the process is to add syrup.
Syrup Is Poured On Top
There are lots of differently coloured syrups: red, green, orange, purple, blue and yellow. The colours don’t approximate to a particular natural flavour (such as strawberry or raspberry) but the Thai’s seem to like the taste.
Finally Condensed Milk is Added
The final step is to pour condensed milk over the top and the dish is finished. I didn’t think I was going to like it, but it was tasty and refreshing. I recommend giving it a try. It is one of those Thai street food experiences worth giving a go.