Cotton Candy (Roti Saimai) – Thai Style!

Roti Saimai (pronounced Say May) is a Thai-style candy floss or cotton candy which is wrapped in a sweet roti. This treat is a favorite of the Thais. It originated from the ancient old capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya and to this day is one of Ayutthaya’s most preferred sweets. Roti Saimai is a dessert with Islamic influences and is typically sold by Muslim vendors. Thai desserts started when the Portuguese first came to Ayutthaya and introduced the use of eggs. Eggs were to become another important ingredient in Thai desserts on top of flour, sugar and coconut products.

The thin silk strands are actually spun sugar and the strands are usually found in a rainbow of colors. The crepe is very thin and the color green is from the pandan leaf (also known as pandanus leaf) which is a delicacy in South East Asia. Roti Saimai is available at street stalls.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: The general manager of Somerset (where we are staying) left some roti saimai for us to try. This was, indeed, a treat for us. It’s so easy to assemble and the flavors are lovely and not too sweet. The candy floss melts in your mouth just like cotton candy does. Just pile the floss onto the roti and roll up! The more floss you use the better!


  1. Kate on September 10, 2007 at 19:17

    wow these look fantastic. I love candy floss – actually who doesn’t but I’ve never had this version before. Thanks for the info on it. The Portuguese have played a very important part in the world cuisine. Taking spices from Asia to Europe , bringing the chilli from Brazil to India and china… i mean we cant even count the gr8 things they have done , but can only thank them for it.

  2. Cynthia on September 11, 2007 at 12:30

    Yes, I’ve seen this on Austin’s Blog: Real Thai but you have now explained it. Thank you.

  3. candyschultz on September 12, 2007 at 01:38

    So could I pile cotton candy on a crepe and get the same idea?

  4. The Culinary Chase on September 13, 2007 at 13:43

    Thanks Kate, Cynthia & Candy. Why not try cotton candy on a crepe…….you might enjoy it. Cheers!

  5. Vefer on September 19, 2007 at 18:48

    Wow I never heard of this, I want to try it!

  6. Anonymous on November 10, 2007 at 09:21

    actually i have taste it at bangkok,it taste so nice that i bought alot to bring home to the way which place that u guy bought??

  7. Hui on January 19, 2009 at 11:19

    I bought for American tourist and let them taste it when we visited Ayutthaya last week. Of course, it’s so wonderful…even me…I’m Thai and love Roti – Sai Mai so much!! LOVE Thailand Very much..

  8. Anonymous on February 2, 2010 at 15:12

    Hey, Hui! I think I am one of the Americans for whom you bought this wonderful treat! A family of 5 adults, right? We just got home, and I immediately got on line to learn more about this yummy dessert. The wonderful day you gave us in Ayutthaya — including the roti! — is one of our favorite memories. Thanks again. -Susan

  9. Anonymous on October 12, 2010 at 22:10

    Ohhhh…I tasted this when I was in Ayutthaya and it’s so yummy I wanna eat more. And Im craving for it now!!!!!

  10. Thailand Reisen on January 29, 2011 at 02:29

    I love the roti sai mai in Ayutthaya – especially when you stand there and watch how they do it. The green dough they use to make the pancakes looks like some kind of alien material, and it’s fun to watch when you are with kids.

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