Edible miniature works of art

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Made from yellow bean paste, these miniature ‘fruits’ make delightful eye-candy

One of my favourite Thai desserts to look out for when in Thailand are these mini works of art known as Kao Noom Look Choup. Shaped from grounded yellow beans, these miniature sculptures are then hand painted with food dyes to render the likeness of fruits and vegetables.

Weighing just between 10 – 20 g a piece, the individual ‘fruits’ and ‘vegetables’ are dipped into a clear seaweed based gelatin known as agar agar. The agar agar coating helps keep their shape, colour and form.

They can be found most anywhere in Thailand; streetside hawkers tend to sell these little delights in packages and the larger more luxurious hotels will use them as garnish, or side decorations on a larger dessert plate.

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Kao noon look choup as garnish on this dessert plate from The Oriental Hotel, Bangkok

In the above picture, a mango sago dessert served in a coconut. On the side are coconut ice-cream with the scrumptiously sweet, yellow beaned ‘fruits’ that add zest and colour to both palette and plate. All this served atop a circular shaped banana leaf and the feeling of dining in an exotic land with coconut trees and sea breeze paradise is complete.

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