Sunday, May 3, 2009

Meang Khum (Betel Leaves)


Do you know that Betel Leaves can be eaten raw too? This is a popular appetizer in Thailand. According to the excerpt from the cookbook, it quoted "Wrapping these tasty ingredients in crunchy betel nut leaves is a tradition at the Arun Thai. The leaves taste nutty and grassy which complements the bright flavors of the other ingredients". As for me, I just simply like having them :)


Recipe adapted from Thailand A Culinary Journey By Khamtane Signavong


Betel Leaves (Meang Khum)


Ingredients

Sauce
1 tsp Shrimp Paste
1 tsp Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Finely Chopped Galangal
1 tsp Finely Chopped Shallot
1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Ginger
1 tsp Dried Shrimps, Finely Blended
4 Tbsp Toasted, Shredded Coconut
5 Tbsp Water
3 Tbsp Palm Sugar
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce

12 Betel Nut Leaves
2 Tbsp Roasted, Unsalted Peanuts
2 Tbsp Dried Shrimps
2 Tbsp Diced Ginger
2 Tbsp Diced Lime (Skin On)
2 Tbsp Diced Shallots
80 g (2 3/4 ox) Toasted, Shredded Coconut
2 Chilies, Sliced Into Rings

Method

First make the sauce. Wrap the shrimp paste in foil and grill it for 2-3 minutes, until the paste is dry. heat the oil in a small pan then add the galangal, shallot and ginger and stir for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the dried shrimps, shredded coconut, water, shrimp paste, palm sugar and fish sauce and stir over a low heat until the sauce thickens. The consistency should be quite sticky and the taste both salty and sweet. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside to cool.

Arrange all the ingredients separately on a serving platter. To serve, spoon on a little of each ingredient on to a betel leaf and top with a tsp of the sauce. Wrap the leaf into a bite-sized piece and enjoy!

Author

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11 comments:

  1. HI, BETEL LEAVES ARE SAME AS LENG GA LO LEAVES( MALAYSIAN WILL CAL IT LENG GO LO).. I HAD BEEN LOOKING FOR THIS KIND OF LEAVES FOR LONG TIME? DID U GROW IT? HOW? WHERE CAN I BUY THE SEEDS? THANKS FOR SHARING INF.

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  2. ohmigosh! I love this appetizer! I had it once in KL when back home visiting but I have never seen it on a DC area Thai food menu. Where can betel leaves be bought?

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  3. @Anonymous: No, I did not grow them. I'm not sure where you reside but if you're in Vancouver, you can buy the betel leaves from a small store in Chinatown. The shop name is Wong Xin Market and they're located at 747 Gore Ave.

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  4. i was just visiting a thai-food blog and was totally craving for mieng kham. and then i clicked into tastespotting and saw this post! ahhhh..... i live in Brisbane down under so the only time i get to eat this is when i travel to Singapore or KL.

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  5. thanks for replied my msg. i am living at new jersey, usa. summer is coming.. i had little garden, tried to plan something... god, the betel leaves is what i looking for a long time. love it. my mom used to make it with eggs or curry shrimp. i love the fragrant. i guess i can find it at any vietnamese grocery store. thank you. by the way, love ur website. i will add it as my favorite site.

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  6. @stoplookingatfood: Looks like I'm not the only one that likes Meang Khum! Ha! Thanks for the comment :)

    @Anonymous: You're most welcome and glad that you like my site. Btw, it's great to grow your own greens. I might do that too ;)

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  7. I have never SEEN nor TASTED betel leaves! Very new to me. =)

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  8. Betel leaves are commonly used in India too. I find that some Indian grocery stores in the Seattle area carry them.

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  9. hi,

    could you help me?
    my bf came home from india with around 20 [ready and packed] betels / paans
    how long can i eat it? [it's in the fridge]
    is it possible to put it in the freezer?

    thanks
    anna

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  10. @anna: I'm not familiar with the shelf life of fresh betel leaves. I guess you can keep it in the fridge for at least a week before they turn bad.

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  11. oh angie, thank you so much; we had total no idea "_"

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