Tasty Thai Snacks – Lotus Pod Seeds


Tesco Lotus is as good a place as any to grab a few tasty Thai snacks but the picture above taken in the heart of Udon Thani’s countryside has a sea of lotus light bites that many Thais and a sprinkling of Westerners love to eat. At the centre of each cluster of green leaves floating on the water lies lotus pods and their slightly sweet, slightly bitter tasting seeds.

Lotus Pod Seeds – A Wacky Snack or Tasty Treat?


Lotus pod seeds are a popular snack in Thailand’s rural areas, especially those with ponds, lakes and rivers nearby. When we pulled our car to a halt the lady in the picture only had two bundles of lotus pods leftover. At 10 baht per cluster their popularity is self explanatory.  You can see in the photograph the lotus pods are a very big handful. There were about 18 pods in the bunch.


The lotus pods (Thai: fak bua -ฝักบัว ) resemble shower heads (also fak bua in Thai) and each one has around 15-20 seeds. The bunch of lotus pods we bought contained well over 300 seeds.


The seed has a rubbery outer shell which is easy to peel off with your fingers – even bearish one’s like mind can ‘peel and deal’ a tasty snack in a matter of seconds. The seeds are an excellent source of protein and low in cholesterol too.


Lotus pod seeds have a taste that’s difficult to describe but a mild mix of broad bean and chestnut flavour is the best I can relate it to. I’d imagine they’d be nice boiled and compliment a roast meat, fish or salad dish. Throw in seafood too.


The seeds aren’t messy but you do need something to put the peeled shells and stripped pods in. My cowboy hat was perfect for that. The picture illustrates how easy it is to split the pods and pop out the seeds. They are quite a steal at 10 baht a bundle.

How about you. Have you ever eaten lotus pod seeds. If so, how did you rate them?

Lotus pods – Interesting facts and information

  • In Anzali, Iran, dried lotus pod seeds are called ‘pesteh daryayi’ (‘pistachios of the sea’) and sold as snacks.
  • Lotus seed paste is used in Chinese pastries and Japanese desserts.
  • Dried lotus seeds are used in many  savory and sweet Thai dishes.
  • The seeds are believed to relieve insomnia, palpitations and irritability.
  • Trypophobia is a fear or revulsion of shapes or patterns of holes created by nature. The phobia’s fears include clustered holes in skin, bee honeycomb and lotus seed pods.

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I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

5 Responses

  1. tom yam says:

    Always found them a bit dry. Nice though. Probably more fun collecting them than eating them.

  2. Martyn says:

    Tom Yam – Fun and water don’t mix well with me but I can see where you’re coming from.

  3. Darren C says:

    The very first time I saw a vendor selling them I thought they looked remarkably like shower heads, at that time I didn’t know you could eat them. If it’s true they relieve irritability I might just invest in some for the duration of the school holidays lol.

  4. Martyn says:

    Darren C – Wouldn’t you need a bucketful for the school holidays? Thai kids are getting more westernised and therefor more unruly.

  5. Darren C says:

    Martin I have 2 kids going to different schools, one has just finished his holidays, the other has just started. Forget the lotus seeds, I need Valium.

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