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Appetizers

Mian Kam

Mian Kam
Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

A quintessential street food in Bangkok, Mian Kam are one-bite wonders. Lots of crunchy, chewy intensely flavorful bits are wrapped in a betel leaf and topped with a tangy tamarind sauce. Cooking teacher Olivia Wu grew up eating them in ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes | Makes 12 appetizer servings
  • ¼ cup tamarind paste
  • ¼ cup grated coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened grated coconut, toasted
  • ½ small lime, preferably organic
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh young ginger, scrubbed
  • 1 small shallot, trimmed and peeled
  • 12 whole roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 6 red Thai chiles, stemmed and halved crosswise
  • 12 whole dried shrimp
  • 12 3- to 4-inch-round nasturtium leaves

Step 1Combine the tamarind paste, palm sugar, fish sauce, and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan. Hold ½ cup coconut in your hands and rub between your palm and fingers to crush it into small crumbles into the pan. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat, stirring often. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts and the sauce reduces slightly, about 5 minutes. Cool completely.

Step 2You want to cut the filling ingredients into the same size as the whole peanuts. Cut the lime into ½-inch wedges, then cut each wedge into ¼-inch slices. Cut the ginger into ¼-inch slices at an angle. Quarter the shallot lengthwise, then cut into ½-inch chunks.

Step 3Put a nasturtium leaf stem side down on a work surface. Mound a tablespoon of coconut in the center, then top with a lime slice, ginger slice, shallot chunk, peanut, chile half, and shrimp. Dollop a spoonful of sauce on top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. To eat, wrap the sides of the leaf all around the filling to form a little pouch and stuff into your mouth in one bite.

Note: Make Ahead: The sauce can be refrigerated up to 2 days ahead. You can prep all the components up to 8 hours ahead.

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