Do Try This At Home : Miang-Come

While Thais enjoy one-dish snacks and quick dishes from small pavement stalls while out and about during the day, some other snack dishes are normally prepared and served at home or in the workplace. On a typical family veranda, many central and northern Thai families will enjoy traditional snacks with their visitors, seated on a colorful mat around a low khantoke table.

Some of these traditional snacks, such as Miang-Come (Roasted Coconut Wrapped in Leaf with Sauce or Leaf-wrapped Savories), go back many years and involve lots of chewing, good for conditioning the gums and exercising the jaw, which is known to help prevent wrinkles. Nowadays several Thai restaurants offer Miang-Come as an appetizer such a Plub Pla or The Gallery Restaurant in Chiang Mai.

A true Thai snack follows several important codes: It must be served in a way that includes more than one person.

It must be easy to eat, not requiring extra plates and utensils. Of course, it must be delicious enough to tempt somebody away from whatever they happen to be doing for a few minutes between breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner. The ingrediates must be fresh and unprocessed this ain't a bag of potato chips! It must be quick and easy to prepare and arranged in an attractive way.

Like most traditional Thai snacks, the ingredients of Miang-Come are chosen to complement each other both in taste and in health benefits. Ginger is well known as a natural aid to digestion, and any number of the edible leaves that can be used in the recipe offer some sort of herbal benefit.

Sauce :

  1. 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  2. ½ tablespoon sliced shallots
  3. ½ tablespoon sliced galangal
  4. 1 teaspoon sliced ginger
  5. 2 tablespoons chopped dried shrimps
  6. 2 tablespoons grated coconut
  7. 3 tablespoons chopped unsalted peanuts
  8. 1 cup chopped palm sugar
  9. 2 ½ cups water

Filling :

  • 5 tablespoons grated coconut, roasted in moderate oven until light brown
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced ginger
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons small dried shrimps, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green bird's-eye chillies
  • 20 edible tree leaves

Preparation :

  1. In a saucepan, combine and heat the shrimp paste, shallots and galangal until you smell the aroma, then let it cool.
  2. Blend the shrimp paste, shallot and galangal mixture with the coconut, peanuts, shrimp and giner in a food processor, or, if you really want to do it the old-fashioned way, pound the ingredients with a mortar and pestle.
  3. Pour the contents into a saucepan, adding the sugar and water. Mix well and keep stirring as it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer while the mixture shrinks to about a cup, then let it cool.

Serving :

Pour the sauce into a small, decorative serving bowl and arrange the edible leaves, dried shrimps, limes, shallots, small hot chilies, peanuts, gingers and roasted coconuts in separate, very small bowls around it on a medium sized platter.

Eating :

Take a leaf and place a small amount of each of the filling ingredients in the middle, top with a spoonful of sauce, and fold up into a little package. Pop the package into your mouth and enjoy the fresh, springy taste

Leaves can be from a variety of edible Thai tree foilage, including Cha Plu (piperaceae) and Thonglaang (coral). Lettuce leaves can also be used as a substitute in the west.