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December 9, 2019

“Khantoke” Thai-Lanna Traditional Food & Culture

Khantoke or Toke is a tray of food in round shape which sometimes called “Satok.” Its diameter can be from 35 – 50 cm. And approximately 30 cm high. It made of either wood or rattan. Khantoke is typically used for in-house family meals and to set on a dinner for the family’s guest. People will sit around it to have dinner together. Tok can be more decorated to show how wealthy the family is. The decoration can be made of a gold plate (call “Thong Kalai,” a plate with gold or decorates with golden glider). There are three Khantoke types in Northern Thailand, varying in sizes.

  • Khantoke Luang (Royal Khantoke), which is used in the royal house,
  • Khantoke Ham is used in a wealthy and noble family,
  • and Khantoke Noi (small Khantoke) is used in the temple for monks and normal houses.
Khantoke Traditonal Northern Thailand Dinner

 Depositphotos / anekoho

Back to the old days, the northern Thais prefer to have food by sitting on the floor and eat with hands. After the housewife finished her cooking, she will carry Khantoke which contain food and sticky rice to serve the family members. We can see that the offering of Khantoke Dinner of the northern Thai is not just a set of food. It also held the expression of warmth & honoring welcome and also to preserve and promote their local culture. This traditional set of food helps preserve the traditional costume and recipes through tourism. With it, the local people can earn for their better life and sometimes it can be held on the charity purpose.

Khantoke Dinner is to express the warm welcome Dinner with northern Thai recipes, and traditional Thai dances show to entertain the guests. Nowadays, the purpose of Khantoke dinner has been developed to meet & greet special guests on various occasions. It is widely well-known for tourists as the Lanna style welcome Dinner, which should not be missed.

Some set menus of Khantoke dinner, which may make your mount watering:

  • Fried banana – clear soup – northern Thai curry with pork
  • Fried chicken – green chili paste served with steamed vegetable – fried chili & tomatoes paste with pork
  • Crispy pork skin – fried mix vegetable – crispy noodle
  • Sticky rice – steamed rice – crispy rice and mix seasonal fruits – coffee or tea

Do you know?

In Thai central Language, “Khan” is the word that we use to call a round shape of the water bowl. When we hear about “Khan,” we will think of a water dipper/holder as it is our general purpose. It can be made of plastic, stainless, and a Luxury “Khan” is commonly made from brasses, which become a special and expensive one.  You can find plastic or stainless “Khan” easily in Thais local bathroom or their kitchen. The brasses Kan is used for a special occasion, for example, to contain rice for the monk food offering.

Feature Image: Depositphotos/Chai2523

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