Celebrate Thai Food Traditions by Serving Foi Thong at Your Wedding

Who knew something so simple could look so beautiful?
Illustration of foi thong
Illustration by Natalie Romine
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
Associate Editor
  • Chapelle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide. She covers all things wedding-related and has a personal interest in covering celebrity engagements and fashion.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Chapelle was an editorial intern for Subvrt Magazine.
  • Chapelle has a degree in English writing from Loyola University New Orleans.
Updated Jan 12, 2024

It doesn't matter what a couple's background is. Every wedding involves traditions. Some of our favorite customs revolve around food because they allow you and your guests to appreciate your or other people's cultures while eating something delectable. This is why we highly suggest you try Foi Thong, a gorgeous golden treat that's traditionally at Thai weddings. But before you add this simple yet tasty item to your dessert menu, learn the Foi Thong meaning, its cost, history and much more.

And don't think we wouldn't give you a recipe to try at home. Keep reading so you can try this confection yourself.

In this article:

What Is Foi Thong | Cost | History | Origin | Tradition | How to Find Foi Thong Near You | Recipe | How to Incorporate Foi Thong into Your Day

What Is Foi Thong?

"Foi Thong is a Thai dessert made from egg yolks. The yolk is drizzled into a pan of boiling sugar water, which forms strands that look like bright yellow pasta," Chef Sompit Vasey, Thai food expert and Founder of M̂ā Yîm Bakery, explains. In English, Foi Thong translates to "golden threads"—foi meaning "thread" and thong meaning "gold."

Foi Thong is usually made of duck and chicken egg yolks and sugar, which are transformed into golden silky threads. The stirred yolks are strained and then placed in a funnel into a simmering sugar syrup. We'll go into more detail about how it's prepared below.

Foi Thong Pronunciation

If you don't know how to pronounce Foi Thong, don't worry. Foi Thong, also spelled Foy Thong, is pronounced [foi tong]. Now you know how to order this delicious dessert without getting any side eye.

Foi Thong Cost

For a single serving of the Foi Thong Thai dessert, the price ranges from $8 to $10 in the United States. Depending on the size, a Foi Thong Thai cake can be anywhere from $15 to $30. The overall cost will hinge on how many guests you have. Talk to your potential dessert chef so you can get a good idea of what your future bill will be.

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Foi Thong History

According to Arcadia Fine Foods, this tasty sweet originated in Portugal but it's said it was brought to Thailand by Maria Guyomar de Pina, also known as Thao Thong Kip Ma. People believe Maria Guyomar de Pina, a Siamese woman of Japanese, Portuguese and Bengali descent, brought the dessert to Thailand in the 17th century to the royal food scene. She was able to do so because she was the wife of the Greek adventurer Constantine Phaulkon, the Chief Minister to King Narai of the Ayutthaya Kingdom.

Foi Thong Origin

Foi Thong is called Fios de ovos in Portugal, which means "egg threads" in English. Arcadia Fine Foods says that it's thought that the Portuguese version of the dessert was created by nuns because of a surplus of egg yolks since there was an "extensive use of [egg] whites in fining wines, starching habits and wimples––and even applying gold and silver leaf to church altars" and lots of sugar brought from new colonies. Fios de ovos is one of the many popular Portuguese convent sweets.

Foi Thong Tradition

Foi Thong is traditionally served at celebratory events since it's considered an auspicious dessert. In Thai culture, Foi Thong is served at weddings because the golden color represents prosperity, and the threads symbolize longevity and eternal love.

How to Find Foi Thong Near You

"The easiest place to find Foi Thong is in Thailand or a traditional Thai bakery. These [bakeries] are usually in cities with a large Thai population, like New York or Los Angeles. But if you really want to experience the taste of Foi Thong and you don't have to travel that far, you can make it by yourself," Chef Vasey suggests. You can also find professional Thai bakers on The Knot Vendor Marketplace who'll make the Foi Thong of your dreams.

Foi Thong
Photo: Varissa | Shutterstock

Foi Thong Recipe

If you're feeling adventurous and are craving something sweet, it's time to learn how to make Foi Thong at home. "The ingredients are simple, but it takes skill and practice to make strands as long as you can. The best way to practice is by watching someone else," Chef Vasey says. She suggests home cooks watch this Foi Thong recipe video to get a visual of how the process works. This recipe makes about four servings.

Foi Thong Ingredients

If you prefer recipes with a short list of ingredients, then you're in luck. Here's everything you need to buy at the grocery store.

  • 12 duck eggs
  • 8 chicken eggs
  • 3.75 cups (or 750 grams) of granulated white sugar
  • 3 cups (or 750 milliliters) of water
  • 3 to 5 pandan leaves
  • 1 tsp of jasmine flavor extract

How to Make Foi Thong:

Foi Thong takes patience and practice, but as long as you follow the easy recipe steps below you're golden. Get ready to get a delicious taste of Thailand (and Portugal) in one bite.

  1. Prepare the eggs. Gently separate the egg yolks and egg whites.
  2. Line a large bowl with a muslin cloth or cheesecloth and slowly place the yolks in the bowl. Mix the yolks using a fork until it's a smooth consistency.
  3. Strain the yolks through the cloth into the bowl. This helps get rid of the large yolk pieces that might be left over.
  4. Put a large deep skillet or wok on medium to high heat and add the water and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Once the water and sugar reach a boil, add the pandan leaves and jasmine flavor extract. After the combination boils for five minutes, remove the pandan leaves.
  6. Lower the heat until there's a visible circle of sugar bubbling in the middle of the skillet or wok.
  7. Transfer the yolks into a Foi Thong mold funnel (we saw lots of options available for purchase online) or a piping bag. If you use the latter, cut a small hole at the tip of the bag. After cutting the bag, ensure the yolks come out smoothly and consistently in skinny strings by testing it on a plate or bowl. Quick Tip: No matter which tool you use, the higher you hold it, the thinner the threads will be.
  8. Drizzle the yolks in the skillet or wok in a large circular motion about 30 to 40 times. Let the threads cook for one minute.
  9. Using two wooden chopsticks or skewers, carefully pick up the threads by folding them over one of the tools of your choice so it's draped on it like a curtain. Let the excess syrup drip back into the skillet or wok and place on a cooling rack.
  10. Keep repeating steps eight and nine until you've made all the yolks, but use a strainer between each batch to take out any cooked yolk that has floated to the bottom.
  11. Serve the dessert immediately or save it in an airtight container. We didn't find a recipe that said how long Foi Thong could be stored, but since it's an egg-based confection, we assume it can be kept in the fridge for only a few days.

How to Incorporate Foi Thong into Your Day

Since Foi Thong is known for being at weddings, incorporating it into your special day is easy. We suggest serving individual servings for dessert or having a Foi Thong cake as your main wedding sweet. "Foi Thong isn't just a beautiful dessert it's one of the main desserts used in holy ceremonies in Thailand. The skill required to make it and the beauty of the finished product makes it a fitting dessert for any special occasion or celebration," Chef Vasey says.

Chef Vasey thanks her husband for helping coordinate this interview.

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