Bua Loy: A Thai Dessert Recipe With Pictures

Updated on February 6, 2020
Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om is an inquisitive foodie who likes to share recipes that everyone can enjoy.

Bua loy is a Thai dessert soup with rice-flour balls and pumpkin.
Bua loy is a Thai dessert soup with rice-flour balls and pumpkin. | Source

Thai cuisine is famous for its great variety of spicy coconut soups, but the soup I'm about to show you how to make is actually a sweet one. Bua loy, which literally means "floating lotus," is a creamy dessert soup made with coconut milk and glutinous-rice flour. The coconut milk is simply spiced with sugar and salt, while the flour is kneaded into tiny balls with a soft but slightly chewy texture, quite similar to tapioca pearls in Boba tea.

Pairing Coconut With Pumpkin

Plus, to embrace the fall season, I'm going to add one special ingredient: pumpkin! Using pumpkin in this dish is a pretty common practice in Thailand. Some people like to mash and mix it into the flour batter, but I prefer keeping the two ingredients separate to achieve a nicer contrast in terms of shape and color. Instead of having a bunch of orange balls floating in my dessert soup, I'll have white balls and tiny orange cubes. Isn't that more visually interesting?

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 2 to 3 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour, (See comments below)
  • 2 1/4 cups coconut milk, (See comments below)
  • 1 cup pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredient Notes

  • Get the right rice flour: Make sure you buy glutinous rice flour, NOT regular rice flour. This is the brand of glutinous rice flour that I use in my kitchen.
  • Regular vs. light coconut milk: Either the regular or light version of coconut milk is fine for this recipe. I personally prefer the regular, but if you don't like your dessert soup to be very heavy and creamy, feel free to opt for the light version. Another option for those who don't fancy a super creamy soup is to use less coconut milk and add a little more water.
  • Make your own coconut milk: It is pretty easy to make your own fresh coconut milk. It takes from five to fifteen minutes to prepare, depending on whether you're using fresh coconut or packaged coconut flakes. Although it's not as convenient as the canned version, homemade coconut milk is usually much more flavorful and aromatic.


  1. Heat about 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add cubed pumpkin and allow it to cook until tender but not too soft.
  3. Drain well and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix glutinous rice flour with 3/4 cup of coconut milk.
  5. Stir together with a fork until the batter is firm and thick. Then knead it with your hands until smooth. If it's too sticky to knead, add a little more flour.
  6. Form the batter into small balls. Set aside.
  7. Place the remaining coconut milk along with sugar, salt and 1 1/2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir constantly.
  8. Add the rice-flour balls and pumpkin. Turn the heat down to low. Once the balls float up, your bua loy is done! (This process should take about 5 minutes.) Serve warm.
  9. If you don't plan to eat it all at once, you can keep your bua loy refrigerated for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container.

Photo Guide

Making the rice-flour balls.
Making the rice-flour balls. | Source
The cooked pumpkin.
The cooked pumpkin. | Source
The bua loy with pumpkin is ready to eat!
The bua loy with pumpkin is ready to eat! | Source

Please Rate This Thai Dessert Recipe

3.4 stars from 5 ratings of Bua Loy


  • In Thailand, it's quite common to enjoy this dessert soup with eggs. To do that, simply poach eggs in syrup and add them to your bua loy right before serving. This eggy version is called bua loy khai waan.
  • If white rice-flour balls seem a bit boring, add some food coloring to your batter. You can even have pink, green, blue and orange balls all in one bowl. You can easily make your own homemade food coloring that's healthy and toxin-free.
  • For those who are not big pumpkin fans, taro root is another popular and traditional choice. You can prepare it the same way you would handle the pumpkin, though it tends to require a little longer cooking time.

The Pros and Cons of This Thai Dessert Soup

It requires just a few ingredients and is pretty easy to make.
Making little rice-flour balls can be time-consuming for beginners.
It's gluten-free and vegan.
It contains quite a bit of sugar and fat. It's not an ideal dessert for diabetics or those who are on a diet.
It's warm and comforting, which is really great for the fall and winter time.
It may appear slightly lackluster, compared to some elegant desserts like a cake or a parfait.
It's very delicious.
It might be too delicious for you to eat just a little bit.


Submit a Comment
  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    7 years ago

    @akitchner - What? You let him eat 11 sauerkraut miffins? LOL Well, now you've learned your lesson! Poor Griff. No more yummy sauerkraut muffins for him.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    7 years ago from Washington

    Although Griffin DOES enjoy his pumpkin and sauerkraut muffins...last year he only gobbled up 11 of them!!! OMG--what a toxic night that was and I'm surprised we didn't have lung burn from inhaling the toxic waste~ He managed to not do his biz in the house thankfully but oy vey--the fumes~ I think we both woke up with our hair standing on end and our eyes running with tears. Pumpkin is supposed to be good for dogs though--just not mixed with sauerkraut~

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    7 years ago

    @carol7777 - Yeah, this is absolutely a nice Thai dessert to eat in the winter. Glad you're going to give it a try.

    @akirchner - Hehehe no substituted tofu! Thanks for dropping by, Audrey. Hope you try this recipe sometime. It's jello-free and tofu-free, totally Bob-friendly. And maybe Griff can have some, too? Eh, probably not.

    @Cardisa - Oh yeah. I think you would love it, too!

    @Dr Pooja - Glad to hear you have had bua loy before. Colorful rice balls look so cute, don't they?

    @viewfinders - Thanks a lot for your comment and vote!

  • viewfinders profile image


    7 years ago from India

    looks different ,its been a good recipe to try for who like to make new one's...

    voted interesting and thanks for sharing.

  • Dr Pooja profile image

    Dr Pooja 

    7 years ago

    Remember being served the yummy dessert in Chiangmai and as you said the rice balls were colored.Must try at home

  • Cardisa profile image

    Carolee Samuda 

    7 years ago from Jamaica

    Wow, this is unusual. Even with my familiarity with Asian food, I have never heard of this one. I think I would love it.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    7 years ago from Washington

    Wow--I don't think that looks too time consuming and gotta love anything with pumpkin and coconut~ I wonder if you substituted tofu....Bob says he's looking up that recipe right now!

    Seriously---that sounds SO good--it never rains in Central Oregon and it's been pouring. Soup would be just the ticket and maybe I could keep the Griffin monster out of the pan of soup!

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 

    7 years ago from Arizona

    Well this does sound different. Sometimes when the weather is cool I love staying home and trying new recipes. So I will bookmark this until the weather cools off a bit. Thanks for sharing and voting UP.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)