Palm sugar is a delicious sweetener made from the nectar of the coconut or toddy palm flowers. It's an integral ingredient in Thai cooking, especially desserts. It is what I like to call the "original sugar" in traditional Thai cuisine before white granulated sugar became a thing. Unlike refined white sugar, palm sugar adds more than just sweetness In its pure form, it has a beautiful floral aroma, a butterscotchy flavour, and a smooth, fudgy texture. I can literally eat it like candy...and probably do so more than I should!
However, not all palm sugars are created equal and some are better than others. Check out the video above to find out how they are different!
In this video I talk about:
- What exactly is palm sugar?
- The two types of palm sugar.
- Is coconut sugar the same as palm sugar?
- Is jaggery the same as palm sugar?
- How is palm sugar made?
- Are there different grades/qualities? (Spoiler: yes!)
- How can you tell the difference between higher vs lower quality palm sugar?
- Be careful: there's a coconut sugar that NOT suitable for Thai cooking!
- How to use palm sugar.
- How to store palm sugar.
- The best substitutes for palm sugar.
For more videos on other Thai ingredients
Check out my Thai Ingredient Playlist where I have informational videos about the most important ingredients in Thai cuisine.
Recipes with Palm Sugar
Want to start cooking with palm sugar? Here are a couple of recipes that really showcase the flavour of palm sugar:
- Classic Pad Thai
- Thai Coconut Bananas Foster
- Durian and Sticky Rice
- For ALL recipes I have that use palm sugar (there are a lot of them!) use the search bar up top (the little magnifying glass) and look up "palm sugar".