Miang Kum is an appetizer originally found only in the peasant regions of Thailand but now commonly sold as street food in all parts of that country. The term loosely translates to "savory bite". It consists of fresh leaves of spinach or other tender greens topped with a sweet sauce or chutney and a variety of flavorful Thai condiments. The entire bundle is eaten in one bite; chewing all the ingredients together creates what has been described as a flavor explosion! Crunchy roasted peanuts, salty dried shrimp, hot chilies, refreshing ginger, pungent shallots, sweet coconut, and piquant lime combine to make this one truly irresistible dish. Plus, I just love foods that you get to eat with your hands! The intense flavors in this dish will be sure to whet your appetite (and possibly leave you craving large quantities of beer!) It makes a great party snack and, indeed, was one of the biggest hits at the elliemay.com launch party!
Miang Kum
Pad Thai
Jasmine Rice
Sesame Green Beans


36 large, intact leaves of fresh spinach
plum, lime, or tamarind chutney
1/4 cup small dried shrimp (optional)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 shallots, cut into small dice
a 2 inch chunk of ginger, peeled and finely diced
1 lime, unpeeled and cut into small dice
3/4 cup toasted fresh coconut
3 thai bird or serrano chilies, thinly sliced (with or without seeds)

Cooking Instructions

To make the miang kum, pick up a spinach leaf and add a small dollop of chutney to it. Place a small amount of dried shrimp (optional), peanut, shallot, ginger, lime, coconut, and chilies on top. Wrap the leaf around the filling like a pouch and eat it all in one bite.

You can either place the leaves, the chutney, and all of the condiments out in separate dishes to have your guests put together their own miang kum or you can make the pouches ahead of time. If making ahead, I would suggest putting all of the toppings on the spinach except for the dried shrimp and chilies simply because some people may prefer to not eat these items; put them out in separate dishes. Your guests can add them to their miang kum later if they desire. Keep covered in the refrigerator until serving.

Makes 36 miang kum



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You can find baby dried shrimp in any Asian market and some well-stocked supermarkets. If you can't find them, simply leave them out of this recipe. There are enough other prominent flavors in this dish that they won't be missed.

Try to find the largest, nicest looking spinach leaves that you can. If yours are small, making it difficult to wrap them around the filling, just use two together instead.

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