Orange in Iced Syrup (Som Loy Kaew) Recipe

Leela Punyaratabandhu

Tart, sweet, cool, and refreshing, fruit loy kaew has been a favorite among the Thai for ages. Infusing the simple syrup with dried spices makes old-fashioned Thai dessert even more special.

Note: For best results, use tart oranges.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serves: 6 servings

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  • 6 large Navel or Valencia oranges
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 pieces of star anise
  • 4 1/2 cups crushed ice


  1. Peel the zest off one orange with a vegetable peeler and cut into thin strips; set aside.

  2. Put sugar, water, star anise, and orange zest in a small saucepan and set it over medium heat. Once the syrup starts to bubble up and the sugar has completely dissolved, turn off heat and allow the syrup to steep while it cools down. (To speed up the cooling, you can place the saucepan in an ice bath.)

  3. Peel the oranges, including the one that has been zested, making sure the pith is entirely removed. Holding peeled orange in your hand, section it by cutting between one section of fruit and the membrane separating it from the next section into the center of the fruit. (See video demonstration here). Divide the orange sections among 6 dessert bowls.

  4. Put crushed ice and cooled into each bowl. Serve immediately.