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As a Western expat, it’s always interesting to see what people come up with for party snacks in Thailand. When people get together there’s always a mix Thai foods and comfort foods from home – fried river fish with chili sauce next to apple crumble.
Mieng Kham is a popular, traditional Thai ‘welcome’ snack for get togethers that is the ultimate example of Thai flavors. A mix of textures and salty, sweet, sour and spicy ingredients, mieng kham is an assault on the taste buds.
Chopped peanuts, toasted coconut, dried shrimp, fresh chilies, ginger and shallots are nestled in betel leaves with a dollop of a sticky sauce made mainly from ginger, palm sugar, water and fish sauce. Luckily, what amounts to be a lot of time and effort in chopping, is able to be purchased in pre-prepared packs from the local markets ready for tasting. If you want to make mieng kham at home, a good recipe can be found here.
You can combine the different fillings in any way you want, but usually people will put the same little amounts of toasted coconut and peanuts, with one or two pieces of ginger, a few pieces of shallot and dried shrimp, one piece of lime, one chili and drizzle with the sticky sauce.
Once you have everything together, you fold the sides of the leaf in to make a small bite.
Then you pop it in your mouth and hope you didn’t put too many chilies in.
Have you ever tried anything like this? Would you? What are some other unique snacks you’ve tried in foreign countries?
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