I've blogged about this sweet -- a type of Chinese/Thai peanut brittle -- a couple times previously. But it is such a tasty and unusual dish, not to mention one that's made via such a fascinating process, that I wanted to share it again.
You can find khanom tup tap -- the name is an onomatopoeia and refers to the sound that results during a particular stage of the cooking process -- during Bangkok's annual vegetarian festival, in September/October. For 10 days, a handful of vendors make the dish in the narrow alleyway in Bangkok's Talat Noi neighbourhood.
The first step in making khanom tup tap is to assemble a simple syrup:
To do this, white cane sugar and water are combined in a hot wok over coals.
When the syrup has reached the right consistency, whole roasted peanuts are added. The mixture is quickly removed from the coals, spread on a tray and allowed to cool:
Now comes the fun part; using mallets, two men whack the mixture (the origin of the eponymous tup tap), pounding it until flat before folding the mixture onto itself and continuing with another round of thwacking:
This is repeated about six times and combines the peanuts and syrup in a way that results in thin, almost pastry-like stratifications.
Still warm, the peanut mixture is pulled and stretched out into a long, relatively thin wrapper, which is filled with ground peanuts and rolled. The resulting tube is then cut into short sections:
The final product is sweet, crispy and rich, and has more than a little bit in common with the American candy bar Butterfinger: