October 30, 2009
Kadok - wild betel leaves
Top photo: Miang Kham in a Thai restaurant.
Middle photo: This is my potted kadok with its luxuriant leaves.
Another serving of mian kham. Always order a platter of this when you visit a Thai restaurant.
Some time ago I discovered a small plant growing rather happily in my garden. At first I thought (very happily) that it was a sireh growing. I had thought of growing a garden full of kampong plants and lots of herbs too would be a good hobby but with six dogs it would be an impossible task.
However at a closer look and also checking with a friend the quick growing and quick spreading plant is Daun Kadok. Now I have two good pots of it growing. One day I must organise a Thai Dinner for my friends starting with Miang Kham which requires daun kadok. My son who was then studying in KL first introduced me to this tasty snack when he took me to a lovely Thai restaurant in KL.
This plant, known as Daun Kadok in Malaysia, is often mistaken for its cousin Piper betel leaf plant. Daun Kadok is very popular and more widely used. Piper sarmentosum is often made into drink to relieve the symptoms of malaria. The roots could be chewed to stop toothaches. A portion made from its roots is said to be diuretic. The drink has also been known to be effective in treating coughs, flu, rheumatism, pleurosy and lumbago. daun kadok.jpg (10667 bytes)
Source: Malaysian Timber Council, Various Issues
Kadok is part of Miang Kham a tasty appetizer or snack from Northern Thailand.
Miang kam consists of fresh Piper sarmentosum or cha plu (ช้าพลู) leaves that are filled with some roasted coconut shavings and few small pieces of the following ingredients:
* Purple onion
* Fresh red or green chilli pepper
* Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) with its peel
Also one or two of the following items are added in each leaf:
* Roasted peanuts
* Dry small shrimp
After filling the leaf, a little coconut palm syrup containing Thai fish sauce (naam plaa) is poured on top. Then the leaf is folded and eaten whole. The origin of the name is in "eating many things in one bite"; from "miang" (เมี่ยง), meaning "food wrapped in leaves", and "kham" (คำ), "a bite".
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