Image showing the Thai banana

Thai bananas, also known as “kluai” in the Thai language. It is a variety of banana that is native to Southeast Asia. [1]

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Thai bananas, their nutritional value, and how they’re used in Thai cuisine.

Image showing the Thai Banana-Variety of Banana

History of Thai Bananas

Thai bananas, also known as Kluai Nam Wa, are a popular variety of bananas that are native to Southeast Asia. These bananas are believed to have originated in the region that is now Thailand.

Thai bananas have a long and rich history in the region, dating back to ancient times.

They were first cultivated by the Mon people, an ethnic group that settled in the central region of Thailand around the 6th century.

Characteristics of Thai Bananas

Thai bananas are a popular fruit that is widely cultivated and consumed in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia.

Here are some of the main characteristics of Thai bananas.

Size and Shape: Thai bananas are generally smaller than regular bananas, measuring about 3-4 inches in length. They are also plumper and rounder in shape.

Color: Thai bananas have a bright yellow color when fully ripe. Some varieties may also have brown spots on the skin.

Texture: Thai bananas have a smooth, thin skin that is easy to peel. The flesh is soft and creamy, with a mild, sweet flavor.

Nutritional Value: Thai bananas are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. They also contain small amounts of other vitamins and minerals.

Varieties: There are several varieties of Thai bananas, including the Kluai Namwa, Kluai Hom, and Kluai Khai. Each variety has its own unique flavor and texture.

Shelf Life: Thai bananas have a relatively short shelf life, lasting only a few days at room temperature. They should be stored in a cool, dry place to help extend their freshness.

Types of Thai Bananas

There are different types of Thai bananas, each with its own unique flavor and texture. The most common types of Thai bananas are:

Image showing the types of Thai banana

1: Kluai Khai

This is the most common type of Thai banana, and it’s often referred to as the “egg banana” because of its small size and oval shape. It’s very sweet and has a soft, creamy texture.

2: Kluai Nam Wa

This banana is larger than the Kluai Khai and has a slightly thicker skin. It’s also very sweet, but it has a firmer texture.

3: Kluai Hom Thong

This is a small, round banana with a bright yellow skin. It’s one of the sweetest types of Thai bananas, with a soft, creamy texture.

Nutritional Value of Thai Bananas

Thai bananas are no exception, and they are packed with nutrients that are essential for good health.

Image showing the nutritional value of thai banana

  • Calories: 96
  • Carbohydrates: 23.9 grams
  • Fiber: 2.6 grams
  • Sugar: 17.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Protein: 1.1 grams
  • Vitamin C: 8.7 milligrams (15% of the recommended daily intake)
  • Potassium: 358 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 27 milligrams
  • Vitamin B6: 0.4 milligrams (22%

Culinary uses of Thai banana

Thai bananas are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes in Thai cuisine. Here are some popular culinary uses of Thai bananas:

Desserts: Thai bananas are often used in desserts such as Khanom Gluay (steamed banana cake), Kluai Buat Chi (coconut milk and banana dessert), and Kluai Khai Tod (fried banana fritters).

Curries: Thai bananas are sometimes used in curries to add a touch of sweetness and creaminess. They pair well with spicy curries, such as Massaman Curry.

Snacks: Thai bananas can be sliced and deep-fried to make crispy banana chips, or roasted with honey and sesame seeds for a sweet and crunchy snack.

Smoothies: Thai bananas can be blended with coconut milk, ice, and other fruits to make a refreshing smoothie.

Baked goods: Thai bananas can be used as a natural sweetener in baked goods such as banana bread, muffins, and pancakes.

Savory dishes: Thai bananas can be used in savory dishes such as stir-fries and stews, adding a touch of sweetness to balance out the flavors.

Thai Bananas in Thai Cuisine

Thai bananas are a staple ingredient in many Thai dishes, both sweet and savory. Here are some popular Thai dishes that use Thai bananas.

Image showing the Thai Bananas in Thai Cuisine

1: Khao Tom Mud

Khao Tom Mud is a popular Thai dessert that consists of sticky rice, coconut milk, and Thai bananas.

The bananas are cooked in coconut milk until they are soft and creamy, and then they are layered with sticky rice to create a delicious and satisfying dessert.

2: Kluai Buat Chi

Kluai Buat Chi is another popular Thai dessert that features Thai bananas.

The bananas are cooked in sweet syrup made from coconut milk and palm sugar, and then served with coconut cream and toasted sesame seeds.

3: Thai Banana Fritters

Thai banana fritters are a popular street food in Thailand. Sliced Thai bananas are coated in a batter made from rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk, and then deep-fried until they are crispy and golden brown.


Here are a few delicious and easy-to-make recipes that use Thai bananas:

Image showing the recipes of Thai Banana

Khanom Gluay (Steamed Banana Cake)


  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ripe Thai bananas, mashed
  • Banana leaves, cut into small squares for steaming


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine rice flour, sugar, coconut milk, and baking powder. Stir until well-combined.
  2. Add mashed Thai bananas to the mixture and stir well.
  3. Place a small square of banana leaf into each section of a steamer basket. Spoon the batter into the baskets.
  4. Steam over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the cakes are cooked through.
  5. Serve warm.

Kluai Buat Chi (Coconut Milk and Banana Dessert)


  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 ripe Thai bananas, sliced
  • 1/4 cup tapioca pearls


  1. In a saucepan, bring the coconut milk and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the sliced Thai bananas and tapioca pearls to the mixture and stir well.
  3. Simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the bananas are tender and the tapioca pearls are translucent.
  4. Serve warm or chilled.

Kluai Khai Tod (Fried Banana Fritters)


  • 2 ripe Thai bananas, sliced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Oil for frying


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well-combined.
  2. Add water to the mixture and stir until a smooth batter forms.
  3. Dip the sliced Thai bananas into the batter, making sure they are well-coated.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Fry the banana slices for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on both sides.
  6. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  7. Serve warm with honey or chocolate sauce.

Thai bananas are a delicious and healthy fruit that are enjoyed by people all over the world. Whether you’re eating them as a snack or incorporating them into your favorite Thai dishes, you can’t go wrong with this sweet and tasty fruit.


Are Thai bananas good for you?

Yes, Thai bananas are a healthy fruit that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

How do Thai bananas differ from other types of bananas?

Thai bananas are smaller than the typical bananas you might find in a Western supermarket, but they are also sweeter and have a more complex flavor profile.

What are some popular Thai dishes that use Thai bananas?

Some popular Thai dishes that use Thai bananas include Khao Tom Mud, Kluai Buat Chi, and Thai banana fritters.

Where can I find Thai bananas?

Thai bananas can be found at specialty Asian markets or in some large supermarkets with a well-stocked produce section.