Posted by: Zorymar | December 12, 2011

Miang Kham (or the best Thai snack ever!)

Thanks to Miang Kham I have a newfound respect for simplicity. When I saw Chef Heidi Fink put this together at the beginning of her Thai cooking class I thought: “Ok, it’s lettuce with a bunch of little things.” Simply put, I wasn’t overly impressed. But when I put that little bundle of goodness in my mouth and started chewing, I was completely blown away as the different flavours and textures started exploding in my mouth. I could almost hear the little lettuce-bundle saying: “What do you think of me now?” and I felt like saying: “I think you’re simply amazing!”.

Ingredients for the Miang Sauce (Naam Miang):
1/4 cup minced galangal (fresh or frozen and thawed out)
1/4 minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons shrimp paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 disks palm sugar (about 6 tablespoons)

Ingredients for the Miang Kham:
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1/4 cup toasted unsweetened shredded coconut (to toast just place the shredded coconut on a skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring often, being careful not to burn it)
Fresh ginger, peeled and cut into tiny cubes (about 1/4-inch)
1 small shallot or 1/2 a large one, peeled and cut into tiny cubes (about 1/4-inch)
1 lime (whole, with the skin on), cut into tiny cubes (about 1/4-inch)
2 Thai bird chilies, thinly sliced
1 head of butter lettuce (or red leaf lettuce), leaves washed, ribs removed, and torn into pieces the size of the palm of your hand.
(Note: the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup dried shrimp too, but I decided to skip that).

Begin preparing the Miang sauce by pounding the galangal, ginger and shallots into a paste using a mortar and pestle. Transfer the paste into a small pot and add the shrimp paste, fish sauce, water and palm sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook at a gentle simmer for about 20 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool. (This sauce can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 1 week). Warning: at first the strong smell may be a tiny bit off-putting, but trust me, it will taste amazing, so just open those windows while you’re cooking it 😉

While the sauce cools, prepare the ingredients for the Miang Kham. Place the lettuce pieces on a plate, bring the bowl of Miang sauce to the table, and place all the other ingredients in small bowls or in small piles on a plate or platter, and let the fun begin!

Place a piece of lettuce on the palm of your hand and add a little bit of everything, like so:

Then top off with a bit of the Miang sauce, like so:

Finally wrap it up in a tight little bundle that can fit in your mouth, start chewing and get ready to experience the many flavours of Thailand in one bite!



  1. Great photos! The resolution is fantastic. What kind of camera?

    I love Thai! – did a Beef Panang and Tom Kha Gai Saturday evening for dinner! SO good, and perfect for a cold winter evening.

    Miang looks great, but may be too much for me at the moment due to time constraints. Will keep it on file, along with all your other great recipes! Some of which I have done, and more than once, and others I’ve yet to get to!

    Have a great Christmas!

    • Hi Josh,
      I have a Canon PowerShot SX20 IS. Isn’t Thai food simply delicious?
      Thanks for following the blog so consistently and for trying out some of the recipes, I’m so glad you have enjoyed them!
      I hope you have a lovely Christmas yourself, and let me know when you decide to try the Miang, I think you will like it! 🙂

  2. Oh boy, I do love Thai food and these little bundles look PACKED with flavor. 🙂

    • They are so very flavourful Krista, I hope you try them soon 🙂

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