THAI MUNG BEAN MARZIPAN (LUK CHUP)
They look like various kinds of fruit and vegetables, such as chillies, cherries, mangosteens, oranges, mangoes, bananas, watermelons, and carrots but they are in miniature.
Their taste is sweet, their smell is fragrant, and their appearance is attractive and colourful. They are called Luk Chup.
3 cups yellow mung beans
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup 1:1 sugar syrup
2 tablespoons Agar agar powder
2 cups (500ml) water
25ml each various food colors
50 each bamboo skewers
Soak the beans overnight in water. The next day, steam in a cheesecloth lined steamer until soft.
In a blender, puree the beans with the coconut milk and the sugar syrup until very smooth. Add more sugar syrup if needed. Place the bean puree into a brass wok.
Over well regulated low even heat (we use a charcoal burner), cook the puree until it becomes a pliable paste. Make sure the bottom of the wok does not burn, or you will get an unpleasant chunky paste.
Pull off small chunks of paste and mould them into various fruits, such as mangoes, pomelo, mangosteen, carambola or anything else that you can think of. You can use bamboo skewers to help you shape the fruits, as well.
Place the bottom of the fruit on a bamboo skewer and paint appropriate colors. While the fruits are drying, make the agar dip. Gently heat the agar powder in water until the agar is completely dissolved. Cool slightly. Dip the painted fruits into the agar, using the bamboo skewer as a handle. Poke the other end of the skewer in a sheet of styrofoam to let the agar set.
When the agar is dry and set, arrange the fruits on a tray and serve.