Thai Bean Desserts to Give You a Boost of Protein

Tara Abhasakun

17 Apr 2024

While most Western desserts simply contain sugar and flour, Thai desserts can often be sources of protein.


Some Thai desserts can help with you get more protein. While Western desserts tend to simply contain sugar and flour, many Thai desserts contain beans. Therefore, these desserts can serve as a source of protein. They may not account for 100% of your protein needs, but they will give you a small boost.

1. Mung Bean Pudding

A traditional Thai delight, mung bean pudding blends split mung beans with coconut milk, sugar, salt, tapioca starch, rice flour, and pandan leaves, creating a nutritious dessert that can be refrigerated for several days. You can then pull a bowl out of your fridge when you're in the mood for something sweet.




2. Black Beans in Coconut Milk

A favourite in Thailand, this dish combines the sweet and savoury with black beans, brown sugar, salt, and coconut milk, offering a balanced and satisfying treat. If you're in the mood for a rich and creamy dessert, this is for you.

3. Thai Custard with Mung Beans

This beautiful dessert mixes hulled mung beans with coconut or palm sugar, egg yolks, sugar, coconut cream, salt, a shallot, and vegetable oil, topped with savoury fried shallots for an exquisite flavour blend. The dish is believed to have been introduced in 17th century Siam. 

4. Fruit-Shaped Mung Bean Dessert

Perfect for parties, this visually appealing dessert uses split mung beans, coconut milk, food colouring, sugar, gelatine, water, and salt to create delightful fruit-shaped treats that are both fun and nutritious. Children in particular love this dessert. 



5. Saku Sai Moo (Tapioca Pearls with Pork Filling)

Although more of a snack, these tapioca balls filled with savoury minced pork and peanuts offer a blend of sweet, savoury, and nutty flavours, providing a protein kick from the pork and peanuts. This is yet another Thai dessert that combines sweet and savoury flavours.

6. Khanom Chan (Layered Steamed Cake)

While not high in protein, when made with ingredients like mung bean flour or incorporating nuts and seeds into its layers, it can offer a bit more protein than other traditional desserts. You may likely have seen this dessert at Thai street food vendors.

7. Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Niew Mamuang)

Though primarily a carb-heavy dessert, when served with mung beans sprinkled on top, it gets a slight protein boost. The primary ingredients are sticky rice, mango, and coconut milk, but the addition of mung beans adds a subtle crunch and protein.

8. Thai Peanut Sweet (Various Forms)

Peanuts are a common ingredient in Thai cuisine, including in some sweet dishes and snacks. Desserts made with peanuts or peanut butter can provide a good amount of protein.