Experiences - Asia

Mieng Kham -The goodness of leaf wrapped delicacy

Thai food is an amalgamation of bold flavours and there’s nothing more enticing than savouring the traditional Thai snack, Mieng kham  also known as “mieng kham”, Mieng kam, Mieng kum. It is a delicacy wrapped in a leaf with many ingredients andis commonly found in Laos region of northern Thailand.

Mieng kham translates to “eating many things in one bite”-Mieng (food wrapped in leaves) and kham (a bite). It is a popular street food in many parts of Thailand and the vendor places four or five ingredients in the leaf with a dollop of sauce, and then wraps up the bundle and skewers it onto a stick.

 

Miang kham

 

Image Courtesy: Heather Joan used under the Creative Commons Licence

The leaf used for making Mieng kham in Thailand is bai cha plu (wild pepper leaves) and is usually mistaken for betel leaf since it looks very similar to it, but has a strong taste with a slightly bitter and pungent smell.

The ingredients used in making Mieng Kham have the 5 key fundamental flavours central to Thai cuisine. The bai cha plu leaves have a bitter taste, while the chilli has spicy flavour, the sourness of lime wedges, the sweetness of coconut and a hint of saline taste with the shrimp.

It is quite popular at the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok and comes in various combinations.

The recipe requires a great deal of preparation, but every minute of your time spent on making it is worth it.The assortment of freshly roasted coconut, the juicy and spicyginger, fresh bitter leaves, the aroma of roasted peanut, the zesty lime and the fierce chilly brings out a wonderfulflavour.

Mieng kham
Image Courtesy: Li Tsin Soon used under the Creative Commons Licence

The best and the easiest way to enjoy Mieng kham is to have it at a local Thai restaurant filled with an array of Thai flavours—hot, sour, salty, and sweet thatstimulate the taste budsmakingyou crave for it!

Mieng Khamhas an assortment of ingredients that have medicinal benefits. Itaids in absorption, because of its excellent digestive properties. Ginger and lime cut down the extra fat and oil, while coconut is used to neutralize the bitterness and sour flavours of ginger, while chilly ensures smoother digestion. The sauces are used as a flavouring agent and the pepper leaves fight against cold, cough and sore throat, it also helps in treating bad breath and constipation.

Sometimes lettuce and Chinese broccoli leaves are usedin place of the bai cha plu leaves, however, the taste is not the same.

Dried shrimp is also used in Mieng Kham that adds a saline flavour to it, but if you are a vegetarian you can skip using shrimp.

All in all the Mieng kham makes for a great party food and appetizer with a punch of Thai flavours wrapped in a leaf. Don’t you ever miss tasting them while in Thailand.

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