Hello from my mom's garden in Thailand! I waited all year to come home and make miang kham, which is potentially the most unique tasting dish I've made so far on the show! There really isn't anything quite like it. You make a little cup with the betel leaf, fill it with all sorts of goodies, and top it all with a sweet-savoury sauce. It really is an explosion of flavours and textures, and a dish you must try at least once in your life!
Watch The Full Video Tutorial!
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Wrap Ingredients (amounts are estimated, you can put as much or as little of each ingredient as you wish)
- 20 bai chaplu or la lot leaves (wild betel leaves, see note)
- ¾ cup toasted coconut (see note)
- ½ cup roasted peanuts
- ⅓ cup dried shrimp (soak in hot water for at least 15 minutes to soften)
- 2 thin-skinned limes, diced with the skin on (see note)
- Chilies, to taste, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup shallot, small diced
- ¼ cup ginger, small diced
Although in the video I called these "betel leaves," this was a mistake as it should be WILD betel leaves. The two are different as betel leaves are not edible in this manner. When buying, be sure to ask for "la lot" in Vietnamese or "bai chaplu" in Thai. Many stores mistakenly label these as "betel leaves" so do double check. You can also sub Chinese broccoli leaves or another earthy-tasting dark leafy green.
I show you the old school method in the video, but most of you will probably use dried coconut! If so, use the larger "flakes" rather than the finely shredded kind. Toast or bake the coconut until it turns a deep dark brown colour, not golden brown! You will need some for the sauce as well so toast a little extra!
If you're using the big limes that are commonly found in N.America, the skin will be too tough and too bitter to dice it skin-on. So, you will need to first finely grate the lime zest and set it aside, then peel off the bitter, white pith and throw it away. Now that you're left with just the sour lime flesh, use a sharp knife and cut it into small pieces, then toss the lime flesh with the zest.
Miang Kham Sauce
- 1 Tbsp dried shrimp
- 3 Tbsp chopped galangal
- 2 Tbsp chopped ginger
- ½ cup water
- 125 g palm sugar, chopped
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste, or more if you like the flavour
- 1- 1 ½ Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp toasted coconut, ground until mealy
- 2 Tbsp toasted peanuts, ground until mealy
To make the sauce: Add dried shrimp to blender and blend until fine, then add galangal, ginger, and about half of the water and blend until fine. Pour into a small pot. Rinse blender with the remaining water to get all the bits out, then pour into pot.
Add palm sugar, shrimp paste and fish sauce to the blended herbs, then bring to a simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once all the sugar has dissolved, simmer on low heat for 5 more minutes until reduced by about half. Add the ground coconut and ground peanuts. Let the sauce cool until it's lukewarm, then check the consistency to make sure it is not too thick, if it is, you can add a bit more water. If it's too runny, reduce it a bit more. Taste and adjust seasoning with more fish sauce as needed.
To eat the wrap, make a little cone with the betel leaf, then fill it with all the wrap ingredients to your liking. Top with a little bit of sauce, close the cup and eat it all in one bite!