Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mieng Kum, finger food.

Last weekend my partner and I were in withdrawal. We were seriously craving the tastes and textures of fresh Balinese food, and the summery feeling of eating raw food. Leafing through our favourite cookbook "Old Food" by Jill Dupleix, we came across a Thai recipe that seemed to fit the bill. Although Thai in origin, Mieng Kum pushed all the right taste buttons: toasty coconut, funky dried shrimps and zingy lime. Heres the recipe that we shared with some good friends as an entree. I have included the substitutions we used, rather than the full Jill Dupleix recipe.

1/2 cup palm sugar
a 1/2 cups water
5 tbs grated coconut (dessicated is OK)
1tbs of shrimp paste
3 shallots
1 tbs peanuts
1 tbs dried shrimp
1 tsp sliced ginger (or galangal)

Boil sugar and water, stirring. Hat a dry pan and roast coconut until golden, remove coconut and dry-fry shrimp.

Pound together/blend shrimp paste 1 tbsp coconut, shallots, peanuts shrimps, and ginger until mushy. Combine paste with sugar syrup, simmer and stir for 15 minutes until it thickens. Cool.

fillings: (feeds 5 as an entree)
2 tbs finely diced shallots
2 tbs finely diced lime
2 tbs finely diced ginger
2 tbs dried shrimp
2 tbs roasted peanuts
2 tbs finely chopped chilli

Arrange these artfully on a plate, or in bowls, and encourage guests to arrange these in lettuce leaves, top with a spoonful of sauce, wrap and EAT. Its an amazing taste sensation, and transports one to a warmer climate immediately. Or maybe thats just as we added too much chilli!


  1. Oh yum Jen...

    I blogged about going for Yum Cha a couple of weeks ago and all I could think about afterwards were the exquisite dumplings and subtle tastes of really good Chinese food. So much so that last Sunday we were having an extended family gathering and well, it seemed to be the ideal place to take a group of nine people, all who have individual tastes.

    Two days later and all I can think about is when to go back...I understand your having withdrawals. Am wondering if going early in the week alone is the done thing..?? I do believe this restaurant has a takeaway Yum Cha pack with seven different dishes for $21.00, that might be the way to go.

    Just as an aside my sister & BIL (who was brought up on excellent Chinese food and has lived in Hong Kong...they Yum Cha at least once a week at home too) have found a Yum Cha home delivery service in Melbourne that will deliver on weekend mornings. They gave it a try prepared for it to be mediocre at best but found it sensational.

    Imagine that, being able to eat those tiny delights at home in bed or in your PJ's while watching Insiders. Next time I am staying in Melbourne I know what I will be ordering to my hotel room for breakfast.

    BTW...have a look at the Foodie blog that my link on the Momo post takes you too. The blog owner is a food writer and traveller and has some inspiring recipes and ideas, great photos. My next recipe to try is Chee Cheong Fun...I have found one that looks simple enough & even comes with photos.

    Phew...didn't mean to write an essay but once I get started on food it's hard to know when to stop.

  2. Hi Kerrie,
    I share your love of yum cha! Launceston only has one decent place to go for this delightful fare, and we frequent this establishment on a monthly basis. Its just great for sharing special family events. Excellent for gatherig with kids too. I think the Chinese are incredibly tolerant of kids in restaurants and dont seem to mind the rustling, disappearing under tables, chopstick wars etc that seem to go on, at our table at least!

    I'll have a look at the Momo-link you mention!

    Nice to meet a fellow foodie!