Sankaya | Thai Pumpkin Custard

Recipe from Turkey River Farm

This coconut custard is cooked directly inside a hollowed-out pumpkin, ready to serve and beautiful to display as soon as it sets. This is not an overly sweet recipe, which I actually like (I’ve been enjoying it for breakfast), but, if you have a serious sweet tooth I would imagine that you could beef up the sugar just a little without consequence to the custard. Or, my favorite garnish is a drizzle of maple syrup or honey on each slice of the custard which is another way to up the sweetness. 


• 1 Kabocha, about 2-3 pounds
• 3/4 cup coconut milk
• 5 eggs, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup white sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Use a cup to trace a circle around the top of the pumpkin. Carefully cut a lid off the top of the pumpkin and hollow out the inside with a spoon, much like preparing to carve a jack-o-lantern.

2. In a bowl, gently whisk the coconut milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla until combined. Pour through a mesh sieve into the pumpkin. Fill to about one inch from the top. 

3. Bring about 10 cups of water to a boil in the bottom of a steamer pot. Place the pumpkin in the steamer basket and lower into pot. The lid of the pumpkin can be cooked alongside as well, but do not cover the filled pumpkin with the lid. Cover the pot and steam for 55 minutes. Do not lift the lid until the end of the cooking time. 

4. After 55 minutes insert a knife into the middle of the custard to test for doneness. Though the custard will continue to firm up as it cools, the center of the custard should not be runny at all. Allow to cool completely to room temperature, and then slice into wedges to serve. Sankaya is also delicious chilled. 


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