Thai Appetizer - Miang Kham Recipe

Tasty Thai Leaf-wrapped Tidbits

This tasty Thai appetizer, miang kam, originally comes from the North of Thailand. It's influenced by Burmese cuisine and is sometimes made with fermented wild tea leaves. Miang kam is often sold as street snack (see video Miang Kham at Chatuchak Market). To enjoy miang, the various prepared ingredients are wrapped in a fresh leaf and topped with a sweet and tangy sauce. Serve at a party and each diner can help themselves preparing their own combinations of roasted coconut meat, ground roasted peanuts, slices of ginger, bits of lime and hot spicy chilies.

Miang Pla Tu (Mackerel)


Combine palm sugar and fish sauce in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir to mix until sugar is dissolve and liquid coats to the back of the spoon when lifted from saucepan. Remove from heat and cool before adding lime juice. If making ahead, store in container with lid. Taste for balance before serving. Lime juice might loose its potency after a day.


  • 12 varieties of tong lam, cha-plu or lettuce leaves, each trimmed
    and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 grilled mackerel, de-boned and sliced into ½ inch (1 cm) cubes
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) cubed young ginger
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) cubed peeled shallot
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) cubed lime
  • 1 to 2 Thai bird chilies (prik kee noo), thinly sliced

Put the leaves on a serving tray and top each with the remaining ingredients. Put the sauce in a bowl and serve with miang. Instruct guest to pick up miang leave careful and fold loosely into a pouch. Drizzle the sauce over and fold. Enjoy!

Makes 12 individual bites.

Miang Gai (Chicken)

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped garlic
  • 1 cup (250 ml) minced chicken
  • 1 1/2 (22.5 ml) tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 (22.5 ml) tablespoons Thai soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh young peppercorns (optional)
  • 1 1/2 (22.5 ml) tablespoons lime juice
  • 12 trimmed bite-size young broccoli leaves

Heat a wok or skillet over high heat. When the wok is hot, add the oil. After a second or two, add the garlic and stir fry until golden. Add the chicken. Use the spatula to break up clumps. When chicken is cooked and firm, add sugar, soy sauce and young peppercorn. Stir to mix. Taste for balance of sweet and saltiness. Remove from heat and add the lime juice. Mix well. Cool before serving.

Line a serving tray with broccoli leaves and top each with chicken mixture. Enjoy.

Makes 12 individual bites.

Miang Vietnam (Pork)


  • 1/8 teaspoon (pinch) salt
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) white vinegar
  • 1 red long chili, pureed

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar and salt is dissolved. Taste for balance of sweet-sour-salty-spicy. Cool. If making ahead, store in container with tight lid and refrigerate. It will keep for at least a week.


  • 12 bite-size lettuce
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) cooled rice vermicelli, cut into 1 centimeter lengths
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) roast pork, grilled chicken, shrimp or tofu
  • 1/4 cup diced (65 ml) cucumber without seeds
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) diced shallot
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) bean sprouts, head and tails removed
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) young Thai basil leaves

Line a serving tray with lettuce leaves. Top with clumps of rice vermicelli, pieces of pork, cucumber, shallot, peanut, bean sprout, and basil leaves. Serve with sauce.

Makes 12 individual bites.

Miang Chiang Mai

  • 14 to 16 fresh miang leaves (bai cha plu) or substitute with leaves with astringent flavor such as banana blossom or spinach
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup chopped young ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon minced chilies
  • 3 to 4 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced cooked pork, chicken or tofu
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fermented tea leaves (optional)

Slice 3 to 4 fresh miang leaves into strands and set aside. If using banana blossoms, put in water with lime juice to prevent browning. Combine palm sugar, salt, fish sauce and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to mix until sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat and cool slightly before adding the remaining ingredients. Mix well.

Line a serving tray with fresh miang leaves and top each with the mixture. Enjoy.

Makes 12 individual bites.

For a detailed discussion about Miang and Bai Cha Plu see Kasma's

Recipe and Image © 2009 Three Generation Organic Cooking and Farming Academy (formerly known as the Prem Organic Cooking School); Main Image © 2010, Okea/

Miang Kham Video  
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