Herb Leaf Wrapped Bundles (Miang Kum) Recipe

Herb Leaf Wrapped Bundles (Miang Kum) Recipes

Ingredients :

1/2 cup (2 oz / 60g) unsweetened grated dried coconut, toasted

1/2 cup (2.5 oz / 75g) unsalted roasted peanuts

1/4 cup (1.5 oz / 45g) dried shrimps, each about 1/2 inch (12mm) long

1/4 cup (2 oz / 60g) peeled and diced fresh ginger (1/4 inch / 6 mm dice)

1 thin-skinned lime, unpeeled, cut into 1/4 inch (6 mm) dice

1/3 cup (1.5 oz / 45g) diced shallot (1/4 inch / 6 mm dice)

2 tbsp chopped green serrano or Thai chile

1/2 cup (1/2 oz / 15g) fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves

18 cha plu, spinach, or shiso leaves


Sauce -

1/4 cup (1 oz / 30g) unsweetened grated dried coconut, toasted

2 tbsp dried shrimp powder

3 tbsp ground unsalted roasted peanuts

1 slice fresh galangal, 1/2 inch (12mm) thick, peeled and chopped

1/2 tsp dried shrimp paste

1/3 cup (3 oz/90g) firmly packed palm sugar or brown sugar

1/4 cup (2 fl oz / 60ml) tamarind water

1 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste

1 tsp dark soy sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup (4 fl oz / 125 ml) water

Method :

- Prepare an attractive platter with individual piles of the coconut, peanuts, dried shrimp, ginger, lime, shallot, chile and coriander leaves. Arrange the cha plu or other leaves on a serving plate.

- To make the sauce, in a mini food processor or a blender, combine the toasted coconut, dried shrimp powder, ground peanuts, and galangal. Process as finely as possible. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and add the dried shrimp paste, palm or brown sugar, tamarind water, fish sauce, soy sauce, salt and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is syrupy and a dark caramel color, about 3 minutes. Pour into a dipping saucer and let cool.

- Each diner takes a leaf and puts a bit of each ingredient onto it. The total of all the ingredients should amount to no more than a small mouthfull. Then he or she spoons a dab of the sauce on top, folds up the leaf, and pops it into the mouth.

Serves 6

Note - My first introduction to this "salad" was a learning experience, for eating it properly is no easy feat. When it was served, it looked like a relish tray, but my host soon showed me that its enjoyment was dependent on a skillful combining of the ingredients. She took a small fresh herb leaf and put one or two bits of each item onto it, spooned a dab of sauce on the mixture, and folded it up into a bundle. Although it sounds simple, my first attempts left a trail of ingredients across the table leading to my plate. Several torn leaves later, I succeeded in wrapping one and consuming the whole small bite at once. It was a memorable mouthful, bursting with textures and flavors.

In Thailand, cha plu leaves, relatives of betel leaves and sometimes referred to as wild betel leaves, are traditionally used, but spinach or shiso leaves may be substituted. It is important to cut each ingredient into the size indicated.

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