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Old 09-09-2006, 06:06 AM   #1
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Chopstix...Thai snack info?

Recently I was in Thailand and for the first time there, tried an amazing combo of ( I have to remember!) dried shrimp, garlic, tiny pieces of lime with skin on, red onion, birdseye chilli, peanuts (?) and a few other things, that I wrapped in a small leaf as shown by out waiter. There was also a sauce to put over that was a combination of the ingredients above, with tamarind.
My question is....do you know what Im talking about and if so, can you tell me all the ingredients? I think it was a betel leaf but the waiter did not know the English word for it.
I can source betel leaves here if I need to, but knowing exactly what went into that delicious wee bundle would be great!

Thanks in advance

Lyn

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Old 09-09-2006, 10:22 AM   #2
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Hi Lynan! That appetizer dish is called Mieng Kham. I think it's one of the most creative dishes ever invented: a bizarre melange of unlikely ingredients that together combust into a mind-blowing taste in the mouth! The leaf is called Bai Chomplooh locally. Not sure if that's Betel leaf in English but I read that sometimes they use Betel leaf for this dish.

Typically you hold one small leaf in one hand. With the other hand, pile the following on the leaf:

1-2 small dried shrimps
1 diced ginger (younger is better)
1 cubed red onion
Some toasted grated coconut
1-2 peanuts
1 cubed lime with skin on (thinner skin is better)
2 cubes of pork crackling (optional)
1 pc finely sliced bird's eye chili
(Try to get all the cubes about 1/4 inch X 1/4 inch. )

Then smother the filling with the Miengkham sauce (see below). Wrap into a tiny roll or cone, and pop into your mouth and chew. Wait for the taste explosion!

For those wondering, your mouth will be pleasantly shocked with the simultaneous combination of sweet, salty, sour, bitter, nutty, crunchy, chewy, shrimpy, coconutty, spicy and HOT.

I still have to meet somebody (including non-Thai asians and westerners) who doesn't love this dish.

Good luck Lynan!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ingredients for the Miengkham Sauce
1 tablespoon shrimp paste, roasted until fragrant
2 oz fresh galangal, cut into slivers and roasted until fragrant (see note below)
1/4 cup grated coconut, roasted in a low-heat oven until lightly brown
4 oz small dried shrimps
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
salt for seasoning

Method:

In a mortar and pestle, 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 reconstitute). Add roasted shrimp paste, ginger, coconut and dried shrimp, and continue pounding until smooth. Remove the mixture and place in a pot with 1.5 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, add palm sugar and table sugar, then reduce heat and simmer, wait until reduced to 1 cup or a bit less. Taste, and adjust by adding a bit of salt. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:57 PM   #3
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Help me - I can taste that now. WOW! What an amazing mixture.
My birds-eye Chili plant is producing chiles like crazy...
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:04 PM   #4
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Wow that sounds amazing. My mouth is watering just reading this!
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:09 AM   #5
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I swear this is a total taste treat just as Chopstix says! I have been craving this something terrible!
I hope all of you who adore strong flavours give this a try.
Now to track down those confounded leaves...lolol

Ooops, forgot the most important thing..thanks so much Chopstix, you are my hero!!
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:32 PM   #6
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I made Mieng Kham yesterday. I placed the leaves around the ingredients and it made for a very nice edible table centerpiece.
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:47 AM   #7
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Hey..!! Thats pretty much how ours was presented. Just beautiful, and Im drooling again lolol

Thanks for reminding me about this Chopstix, I must go get those leaves.
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:51 AM   #8
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Lynan, maybe you can try spinach leaves?
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