I am excited to share my latest discovery in Thai dessert culture – khanom look choop! These colorful treats are made from mung bean paste and shaped into various fruits, making them not only delicious but also visually appealing.
Khanom look choop is a popular dessert that can be found throughout Thailand. Its name is derived from "khanom," which means sweet snack, and "look choop," which refers to the shaping technique used to make the tiny morsels that resemble fruits. The recipe for this sweet delicacy is simple, yet delicate, requiring a skilled hand and patience to execute.
The process of making khanom look choop involves first soaking mung beans, then grinding them into a fine paste. The paste is then cooked over a low heat until it thickens and becomes pliable. Natural food coloring is added to the paste before it is shaped into miniature fruit shapes, such as mangoes, durians, and lychees. Lastly, a thin layer of gelatin is applied to mimic the fruits' sheen.
Not only are khanom look choop beautiful, but they are also a perfect representation of the intricacy and attention to detail found in Thai cuisine. In this article, I will delve deeper into the history of this dessert and share some of the best places to try khanom look choop in Thailand. Get ready to indulge in some sweet fruity delights!
History of Khanom Look Choop
Khanom Look Choop is a traditional Thai dessert that has been around for generations. This sweet treat is made from mung beans, sugar, and coconut milk, and shaped into small, colorful creations that resemble fruits and vegetables. The exact origins of Khanom Look Choop are uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in the Ayutthaya period (1351-1767) when the Thai people were experimenting with new culinary techniques and ingredients.
Over time, Khanom Look Choop became a favorite dessert among the royals and nobles of the Thai court. It was often served at elaborate banquets and special events, and the intricate and colorful shapes often symbolized wealth and status.
How is it made?
Khanom Look Choop is made by cooking mung beans until they are very soft, then grinding them into a fine paste. The paste is then mixed with sugar and coconut milk to form a sweet, sticky dough. The dough is then shaped into small, bite-sized pieces and molded into various fruit and vegetable shapes using special molds.
The shapes are then delicately painted using edible food coloring to create a realistic effect. The end result is a beautiful and colorful display of miniature fruits and vegetables that are almost too pretty to eat!
Creative Shapes and Colors
One of the most fascinating aspects of Khanom Look Choop is the variety of shapes and colors it comes in. The fruit-shaped Khanom Look Choop is the most popular, with each color representing a different type of fruit. For example, green represents a coconut, yellow a mango, and orange a pumpkin.
Khanom Look Choop also comes in various vegetable shapes, such as chili peppers, eggplants, and carrots. These savory-looking snacks are often used as decorative displays at events and can fool even the most discerning eye!
Where to try Khanom Look Choop?
Khanom Look Choop is readily available in most Thai dessert shops and markets, particularly in Bangkok and larger cities. However, the best places to try it are at specialty shops and traditional markets, where the dessert is often made fresh daily.
One of the most famous places to try Khanom Look Choop in Bangkok is at Or Tor Kor Market, where you can find a wide selection of other Thai desserts and snacks as well. If you're looking for something more traditional, head to Talat Pa Naam, a historic market in Ayutthaya that still makes Khanom Look Choop the old-fashioned way.
Khanom Look Choop is not the healthiest dessert option due to its high sugar content. However, mung beans are a good source of protein and dietary fiber, and coconut milk contains healthy fatty acids.
As with all things, moderation is key, so enjoy your Khanom Look Choop in small quantities as a special treat.