Rice Balls in Sweet Coconut Milk

Rice balls in sweet coconut milk

Bua Loy Covid

Serves 4 Cooks in 60 minutes Difficulty A little tricky

Bua Loy is an old style Thai dessert made mainly from Rice Flour. This dessert can come in a variety of different shapes and colours as we will see.

Mixing the rice flour with pumpkin gives a nice yellow colour, green comes from pandam leaves, blue from butterfly pea flowers and orange from carrot.

So why Bua Loy Covid? To understand this is to understand old Thai beliefs when it comes to defence, namely eat first before being eaten. So in this case, eat Bua Loy Covid before Covid 19 catches you.

Of course we know that staying indoors, washing hands and wearing masks if the best way to fight Covid 19 but with this dessert we’re just trying to add some Thai light heartedness to ease us through these serious times.

In English Bua Loy would be Rice Balls in Sweet Coconut Milk.


  • 100g sago seeds
  • 65g glutinous rice flour
  • 65g pumpkin, peeled
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 100ml coconut juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp palm sugar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh coconut
  • A handful of spaghetti, uncooked
Bua lay ingredients
What you will need.


  1. Boil the pumpkin until soft , remove from the heat, drain and mash.
  2. In a bowl, add the flour and water and mix well with the mashed pumpkin. Roll the finished mixture in 0.5cm balls and put to one side.
  3. Add the sago seeds in a bowl and cover with water and soak for 15 minutes. The sago seeds will soak up the water and expand in size. Roll the sago into 3cm balls.
  4. Break the spaghetti into 1.5cm long pieces and connect the sago balls with 10 or so pumpkin balls to give the appearance of a virus.
  5. Boil some water in a sauce pan and add the ‘virus’ balls and cook, they will float when cooked. Remove the balls from the pan and place in cold water for a minute and then drain and put to one side.
  6. In a sauce pan bring the coconut milk to the boil  and add the coconut juice, palm sugar, sugar, salt and fresh coconut. Simmer for a couple of minutes.

To Serve

Pour the coconut milk into four bowls and add a few virus balls in each bowl .

Hope you enjoy Bua Loy Covid by Apple 🍎 Riverside Thai Cooking in Khao Lak.

1 thought on “Rice Balls in Sweet Coconut Milk”

  1. In Thai the word bua means “lotus” and loy means “floating,” so put together the name of this coconut milk dessert translates as “floating lotus.” More specifically the lotus reference is with regards to the seeds since these little sticky rice dumplings are a similar size.

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