Thursday, March 25, 2010

Miang Kham : Thai leaves with condiments

Maing Kham is one of my favorite things. It is a dish which requires a great deal of prep work, chopping, roasting and making of a deliciously pungent, spicy and slightly sweet sauce full of umami. After the work is done, there is a platter full of beautiful jewel like items and slightly bitter leaves to assemble. I made this dish for a luncheon with friends and then had the leftovers last night for dinner. I have enough sauce to make it again next week and I shall. The sauce can also be used with seafood or chicken as a glaze. If you eliminate the dried shrimp and use vegetarian fish sauce ( made with soy) this dish is also Vegan. I recently shared this recipe with a friend's daughter who is vegan and I think she will like it. Every time I make this, I vary it a little. This time I had some cucumber and Mandarin oranges, so I added them. You can also add avocado, mango, mint & the list goes on.
Miang Kham Leaves with Garnishes (also spelled as Mieng Kam)
 Mandarins and Limes
This recipe requires some preparation time, but it's well worth it—especially if 
you've eaten a tasty miang kham before and have a craving. There's nothing like
it. The blend of coconut, ginger, fresh bitter leaves, peanuts, lime, herbs and 
chile is full of fantastic flavor. It is great for a party, as it is the ultimate finger food. 
 fried garlic

While the easiest way to enjoy miang kham is to have it at your local Thai 
restaurant, it takes so much effort to make that many restaurants do not offer it.
Every time I serve it people are delighted with the way the many flavors kind of
explode in bursts. 

Chiles and Ginger with a Thai Basil Flower
·        3/4 cup grated coconut, roasted in a low-heat oven (or toasted in a dry 
     wok) until lightly brown
·        2 small limes(When tangerines or clementines are in season I add them to 
     the limes),unpeeled (try to get limes with thin skin), cut into small 
·        6 tablespoons shallots, peeled and cut into small cubes
·        6 tablespoons roasted peanuts (rough chopped)
·        6 tablespoons small dried shrimps (optional for vegans)
·        4-5 fresh hot chile peppers, cut into slivers (I use Hawaiian peppers)
·        4 oz fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small cubes
·        9 garlic cloves slivered and friend in oil till golden brown
·        Cilantro (rough chopped)
·        Fried shallots (available in Asian markets)
·        Very small diced extra firm tofu, fried till slightly crispy
·        Additional garlic chili sauce
The Sauce
·        1 tablespoon shrimp paste roasted until fragrant (optional for Vegans)
·        2 oz fresh galangal (Thai Ginger), cut into slivers and roasted until 
     fragrant (see note below)
·        1/4 cup grated coconut, roasted in a low-heat oven or in a dry wok until 
     lightly brown
·        ¼ cup toasted peanuts, finely ground
·        4 oz small dried shrimps (optional for Vegans)
·        2 oz shallots, peeled and coarsely cut
·        1.5 teaspoons fresh ginger, sliced 
·        8 oz palm sugar (broken into small chunks)
·        2 tablespoons table sugar
·        2 Tablespoons Tom Yum concentrate (available at Asian Markets)
·        ½ cup of chipotle jelly (optional)
·        ¼ cup of fish sauce (optional for Vegan or there is Vegetarian )
 fried shallots
In a mortar and pestle (or small food processor), pound together the shallots and galangal until fine (note about galangal: it's ok to use dried galangal
as long as it's placed in a dish of lukewarm water for a few minutes to 

Add roasted shrimp paste, ginger, coconut, peanuts and dried shrimp, and continue pounding until smooth. Remove the mixture and place in a pot with 1.5 cups water. Add Tom Yum concentrate and jelly. Bring to a boil over medium heat, add palm 
sugar and table sugar, then reduce heat and simmer, wait until reduced to 1 cup ora bit less. Taste and adjust. It should be tart, salty, sweet and slightly tangy, I prefer to not make it too spicy and allow guests to add their own heat. Remove 
from heat and transfer to a small bowl.
Wrapping Leaves (The choice of what leaves to use is up to you. Some use
lettuce or spinach leaves due to ready availability, but to get an authentic 
flavor you can visit an Asian grocery store and try to find cha-phloo
leaves. These leaves are also known in English as Betel Leaves, or Piper 
Sermentosum. In Vietnamese language, these leaves are labeled as La Lop. You 
could also use sesame leaves or tender bok choi (this is what I use bok choi most
often. Slightly bitter leaves are best for this. 
Spoon the roasted coconut into a serving plate. In separate small bowls, arrange 
each filling ingredient listed above. With a fresh wrapping leaf in hand,
fold it once across the bottom then sideways to form a pocket. Place about 1 
teaspoon roasted coconut in the leaf together with a small amount of each
filling to create a bite-sized quantity. Spoon the sauce on top, pop in your mouthand enjoy!


Cloudia said...


Aloha from Oahu my Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Devany said...

Aloha Cloudia! How are things over there in the big city? When are you coming to Hilo?

Anonymous said...

Love this blog, You simply must post more often on a daily basis. . it drives me to madness when I check 10 times a day for a new post. . . I just love to read about everyday human life, cooking, drinking tea, making the bed, doing laundry, dinner party, walking in the garden, just simple life stuff. There is something very soothing about it all. I really enjoy it.

noel said...

beautiful post and photos outdid yourself on this one!

Cialis said...

Wow it sure looks delicious, that is why I love Thai food.