Thai recipe for Mieng Kham, a traditional snack originating from Northern Thailand
‘Mieng’ means ‘wrapped in leaves’ while ‘Kham’ means ‘Bite’ in Thai
It is a fun and healthy food, great as a snack or appetiser – perfect for eating with friends or as a party food.
Mieng Kham is usually served with betel leaves in Thailand but these can be very hard to find outside of Asia. The betel leaves can be substituted instead with Chinese leaf, lettuce or any other flat green leaves of your choice.
This dish can be fairly time consuming – I spent nearly an hour preparing all the ingredients just for two of us.
I have to say though, it really was worth it, Mieng Kham is such a lovely, unusual and flavoursome dish.
Mieng Kham Ingredients:
The quantities for this recipe will vary greatly depending on how many people you are making it for.
When I made it for myself and my husband last Saturday night I used the following:
20 betel leaves
½ cup roasted salted peanuts (can use un-salted)
1 chopped lime with the skin
1 chopped shallot
4 chopped small Thai chillies
3 inch piece of chopped raw ginger
¼ cup toasted, grated coconut
Cheat: you can buy pre shredded, toasted coconut in the supermarket. It is much easier than having to shred and toast a whole coconut!
Dried Shrimp is an optional ingredient, I didn’t use this in my Mieng Kham as neither my husband or I like shrimp.
For the Mieng Kham sauce:
½ tablespoon sliced ginger
2 chopped shallots
1 cup of water
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
¼ cup of toasted and grated coconut
How to make the sauce for Mieng Kham:
Using a pestle and mortar (or a blender!) grind the shallots and ginger until it becomes very fine.
Add the shallot/ginger mix into a saucepan along with the water, fish sauce and sugar.
Boil over a medium heat and reduce the sauce by half, until it has thickened.
Lastly take off of the heat and stir in the coconut, put it into a bowl ready for serving.
Cheat: If you don’t want to make your own sauce you can buy one of the many ‘dipping’ sauces available in the supermarket.
We found sweet and sour plum sauce or ‘Mae Pranom’ sauce works well.
Thai sweet chilli sauce could also be used, maybe use less fresh chillies if you go for this sauce though.
How to make Mieng Kham:
Cut up the lime, shallot, chilli, ginger and coconut into small pieces. Arrange separately, along with the peanuts in little bowls or into piles on a plate or serving board.
Place the leaves and sauce next to the arranged ingredients.
How to eat Mieng Kham:
Take a leaf and pinch in the side then pull the bottom of the leaf round to make a pouch.
Now the fun part begins – start adding little quantities of each ingredient into the pouch. There is no set way or order to the filling up of your leaf, just whichever way takes your fancy.
Be careful with the chilli though, we just put two pieces in max, anymore and it becomes too hot for us and over powers the rest of the flavour, two is just right to give it that kick of heat!
Once you have all your desired ingredients in your leaf pouch, add a teaspoon of the sauce on top.
Fold up the rest of the leaf to make a packet then put the whole thing in your mouth, one bite.
Enjoy the taste sensation of Mieng Kham!
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