"A nice take on a portable sundae, minus the paper or plastic cup."
My close friends and family know that after peanut butter, my other great passion in life is scuba diving. I've been fortunate enough to dive in many exciting places around the world, but my favorites are in Southeast Asia. This is quite convenient, as so many of the local cuisines are not only delicious, but involve nuts—especially peanuts.
I was recently in Bangkok on my way to dive in the Philippines when I came across a new (to me) sensation: ice cream sundaes served on hot dog buns.
Coconut-based sweets and desserts are quite popular in Thailand and can be found everywhere. The frozen coconut treats, served in a small cup, are typically made from coconut milk or coconut juice (a little lighter and less creamy) and topped with fruit. But on this recent trip to Bangkok, I saw this hot dog bun version in not one, not two, but in three different places!
The Weekend Market is a must-visit destination in Bangkok. You can buy everything from silk scarves to antique beads and coins, to the latest Thai street fashions, pets, housewares, and so much more. In short, it's just about the largest, most insane shopping experience you will ever have.
Anyway, back to the sundae.
First I had to choose my fillings. I went with two: dried banana pieces and pineapple jam.
Then it was the ice cream decision-making. I went with the coconut milk flavor.
And for the topping I chose (what else) peanuts! As if all that wasn't enough, they topped it off with a drizzle of milk.
The dessert was delicious: the bananas were chewy, the pineapple sweet and tart, the coconut ice cream rich, cold, and creamy, and the peanuts added the perfect amount of crunch and toasted flavor and the drop of milk brought all of the flavors together.
The bun? It got soggy pretty quickly (as I suspected) and if I ate it any slower, we would have had a real mess on our hands.
But it was a nice take on a portable sundae, minus the paper or plastic cup to throw out at the end! I kept thinking that it would have been interesting with a toasted bun. (But that might be too much to ask for street food.)
There is a reason why Thailand is called the land of a thousand smiles, and the staff at this stand were incredibly friendly, and worth a visit if you're at the Weekend Market in Bangkok.
Just tell them The Peanut Butter Guy sent you!
Sai-Jai Ice Cream
JJ Market (The Weekend Market)
Section 15, Soi 7
Outside the Ringroad
Note: Lee Zalben, a.k.a. "the Peanut Butter Guy" is the creator of the Peanut Butter & Co., a New York sandwich shop with a national line of nut butters. Every week he chimes in with some nuttiness.