They See Me Rollin’, They Hatin’: Thai Style Rolled Ice Cream

You’re wandering through a market and hear an unusual sound of methodical metal on metal clattering away. As you approach you see a crowd of people mesmerized by a stall. Everybody is enthralled by the delicious craze of Thai-Style rolled ice cream!

Street food is a way of life in Thailand, and the locals aren’t just about the savory either. In fact, Thai people absolutely love sweet food. From coffees laced with condensed milk to the freshest and sweetest fruit, sweet treats are everywhere.

One of the latest and most popular trends is what has become known as Thai-style rolled ice cream. It’s ice cream, but not as you know it. You know those wafer like biscuits that are rolled into fingers? It’s just like that but made of ice cream and covered in any topping that you can imagine. This is an art form and a dessert all rolled into one, and is a lot of fun to order on an evening wander round a night market.

How is it made?

The real enjoyment, as well as eating it, comes from watching it being made. Confusingly, it looks like the chef is stood behind a giant hot plate that would better suit a frying steak than rolling ice cream. The plate is actually freezing cold: -30 degrees in fact, rather than hot.

The chef then takes a liquid base cream which has any multitude of flavors added to it. You can pick from any of the ones that the stall owner has, think along the lines of chocolate, vanilla and the normal flavors all the way up to the more unusual such as Durian and mojito.

The liquid is poured onto the cool plate and instantly begins to freeze. This is where the art begins. Using two spatulas the chef smooths, balls and chops the ice cream over and over again until it takes on a smooth, creamy texture. It is finally flattened out and then rolled into cigar-like shapes. These are then placed upright into a cup and smothered in sauces and toppings.

Some servers are starting to get even more adventurous with their flavors. Because of the chopping, flattening and rolling motion, pretty much anything can be added to it. In fact, some stall owners have been seen popping a doughnut, whole Oreo’s or piles of sweets onto the pan. The more adventurous have added pizza, avocado and even burgers… savory ice cream, maybe not for all palates!

#BodegaHostels Insider Tip

Did you know that Asia is one of the pioneers of frozen desserts? Scholars have found that even as far back as 1000 years, there are writings describing frozen sweet foods in Japan. So you won’t just be eating a tasty treat but will also be sampling history.

You won’t have to search for long to find a stall selling these. There’s at least one in every night market that you’ll visit. The beach resorts, such as Phuket and Pattaya, will have many lining the fronts and just behind the beaches. Be adventurous and try one of the more unusual flavors!