Miang Kham (Thai One Bite Wrap)

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Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 30 Mins

I love miang kham SO MUCH. There are very few things in the world that will always put a smile on my face no matter my mood, and miang kham is one of them. Miang translates to “food wrapped in leaves” and kham to “a single bite”. This one-bite wrap is a journey of flavours. All at once, the sensations of sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami, spicy, fresh, piquant, and sharp meet in your mouth. Apparently, even His Majesty King Rama VI (1880-1925) was a fan, writing in one of his Epic of the Verse of Foods verses, “miang kham makes me hungry, and so do miang sa maaw and miang bplaa thuu.

Miang kham originated from the north of Thailand. Fermented tea leaves, popular in Burma, were originally used as the wrappers. These days, bai cha plu (wild pepper leaves) are mostly used instead. Do not confuse bai cha plu with betel leaf, these look very similar but are different things! As I have no hope in Hell of finding bai cha plu on my lockdown island in the Philippines, I use Korean perilla leaves instead. If you can’t find either, you can use spinach or mustard leaves as well.

Ideally, you would use shaved coconut meat for your filling. If you can’t get that, desiccated coconut is okay too, but make sure it’s unsweetened. As for the limes, you want the thin-skinned calamansi limes. If you only have huge buff-looking ones, you may need to shave off a little of the peel so it wouldn’t be too bitter. For the vegan shrimp paste, I actually used Filipino vegan bagoong, which tastes really similar. If you are not in the Philippines, you can try this Vegan Bagoong recipe or use brown miso.

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Ingredients

0/15 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
  • For Sauce
  • For Fillings

Instructions

0/11 Instructions
  • Over very low heat, slowly toast the coconut until golden. Set aside for later, removing 1 tbsp for the sauce.
  • Over low heat, toast the peanuts until fragrant.
  • Chop / crush / blend / stomp on the peanuts until they are smaller. Set aside for later, removing 1 tbsp of the smallest bits for the sauce.
  • Deseed and dice the calamansi limes with the skin on. Finely dice the ginger. Mince the shallots. Dice the chilli.
  • Now we make the sauce. Toast the minced ginger and lemongrass over medium heat with no oil until the ingredients dry out, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the shallots and continue to fry another 2-3 minutes.
  • Blend the ginger, lemongrass, shallots, vegan shrimp paste, soy sauce and 2 tbsp of water.
  • Add the paste to a pan with another 2 tbsp of water, 1 tbsp of sugar, 1 tbsp toasted coconut and 1 tbsp crushed roast peanuts.
  • Cook over low heat until incorporated and reduced.
  • Serve!
  • To eat, create a little pouch by folding the bottom of the leaf then filling it. Finish by folding the top over.

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