Be­tel leaves with ac­cou­trements


Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Food -

“Thai food is so much about tex­tures and the im­me­di­ate flavour on the palate,” says Pal­isa An­der­son. “And this is one of those dishes that de­fines Thai cook­ery: sim­ple and show­cas­ing good in­gre­di­ents.”

100 gm shred­ded co­conut 30 be­tel leaves, washed and pat­ted dry with pa­per tow­els 100 gm dried shrimp (see note) 100 gm small roasted peanuts 100 gm young ginger, finely diced (see note) 3-4 red shal­lots, finely diced 10 red bird­s­eye chill­ies, thinly sliced

Fin­ger limes, halved, or diced lime flesh, to serve MIENG KHAM SAUCE

2 tbsp dried finely grated

co­conut (or des­ic­cated) 10 gm (2cm piece) galan­gal,

coarsely chopped 1½ lemon­grass stalks, white part only

350 gm soft palm sugar

2 tsp shrimp paste

60 gm dried shrimp, finely ground in a food pro­ces­sor

1 Dry-roast shred­ded co­conut in a wok or fry­ing pan over low-medium heat, tossing, un­til golden (10 min­utes).

2 For mieng kham sauce, dry-roast co­conut in a wok or large fry­ing pan over medium heat un­til golden

(8-10 min­utes). Set aside. Add galan­gal and lemon­grass to wok and dry-roast un­til fra­grant (2-3 min­utes). Finely pound galan­gal mix­ture with a mor­tar and pes­tle, then place in a large saucepan with palm sugar, shrimp paste and 600ml wa­ter. Bring to the boil, stir­ring to dis­solve sugar, re­duce heat to medium and sim­mer, whisk­ing oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til sticky and re­duced by a quar­ter (10-15 min­utes). Stir in ground shrimp and roasted co­conut and cool to room tem­per­a­ture.

3 Serve be­tel leaves with dried shrimp, peanuts, ginger, shal­lot, chilli, roasted co­conut and lime with sauce on the side.

Note Dried shrimp is avail­able from Asian gro­cers. Young ginger is soft and juicy; look for ginger with thin, pale skin. Wine sug­ges­tion Nutty palo cor­tado sherry.

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