Warning! As is discussed in the comments to the answer, the plant and tuber may be poisonous and must be cooked by experts.

I went to a village market in NE Thailand. They had many products from "the jungle". For lunch I had steamed, shredded coco-nut, pumpkin and a white tuber (?) they called "glooi". I assume the "glooi" is sliced (and steamed) in the picture below.

Does anyone know more about "glooi", it's English name etc?


  • Did it have a district taste or texture that you can describe? Thai cuisine uses may types of root vegetables that all may look superficially similar (translucent, creamy white) when cooked -- jicama, manioc, taro, lotus. See also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Thai_ingredients#Roots .
    – hoc_age
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 13:11
  • 1
    Widely speaking, cassava, taro, violet yam, sweet potato are all a little "soft, mealy and grainy" like a well boiled potato of the soft kind, I think. / But this was more crisp and hard as I remember. Also much whiter than the above mentioned. (Just a yellowish tone of white.)
    – cvr
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 13:20
  • Lotus root is a little harder to chew. Maybe like that. But that has a very typical shape, with the holes, and also different color.
    – cvr
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 13:22
  • The only one in the link under "roots" I think I can not rule out immediately from experience is jicama. I have not eaten that. But according to the Internet jicama is often eaten raw and it's Thai name is not gooi but "man kaeo". / The taste of the dish I had was sweet, though. From added sugar or coco or the root?
    – cvr
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 13:36
  • yuca/cassava is like a slightly sweeter, lighter potato if it was anything like that.
    – JWiley
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 15:16

2 Answers 2


Warning! The plant and tuber may be poisonous and must be cooked by experts. See comments.

Some Thai friends had eaten this tuber when they were young and helped me surf the Internet for it.

It is pronounced glooi (กลอย).

Scientifically it would be Dioscorea hispida Dennst http://www.thaicrudedrug.com/main.php?action=viewpage&pid=14

My dictionary translates it as wild yam, but that is probably a wide definition. It is definitely different from other yam that resembles sweet potato and is sometimes purple. (Yam in Thai language is "man".)

  • 2
    Great, thank you for sharing the answer with us after you found it! Note that it is OK on our site to mark your own answer as the accepted one.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 9:08
  • 1
    From that scientific name, USDA shows it's called "intoxicating yam". plants.usda.gov/java/… Google Books shows something for that name, too books.google.com/…
    – derobert
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 17:01
  • Yes. That is interesting. According to the link in the answer, parts of the plant are poisonous, parts have medicinal effects. My Thai reading is poor and I combine with Google translate. If I get it right you must peel and slice the tuber and leave the slices in water for a couple of days. That could be part of a detoxifying process. The link also describes steaming, the way I had it. It definitely does NOT seem like something you grind whole and bake a cake of. If you eat that, you would die. Should be cooked by people with experience of it.
    – cvr
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 23:11

The closest culinary ingredient to "gooi" I can find is gui chai ("กุ่ยช่าย"), which is Chinese chives, but this does not describe anything I can see in the dish.

My best guess of the mystery ingredient is Jicama. It is is naturally a little sweet from oligosaccharides, similar to sunchoke / Jerusalem artichoke, but that might be just as foreign to you. That's probably my best guess looking at the fibres -- opaque and white. Though often eaten raw, it holds up well to steaming or sautéing. It will remain somewhat toothsome after light cooking.

  • Jicama, which was also discussed above, is probably similar, but has another name in Thai (man kaeo) according to the Internet. (As a kid in northern Europe I had Jerusalem artichokes. It was too long ago for me to remember the taste, though.) / To be sure what this is I think it must fit the name "gooi". Several Thai people used this name. I think it is more widely used in Thailand and probably not only dialect.
    – cvr
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 22:38
  • @ycc_swe Yes, I migrated and expanded this answer from my comment. Please consider modifying your question to include content from your comments about flavour and texture and anything else you can say about the veg in question. If this isn't it, I hope you get the correct answer!
    – hoc_age
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 1:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.