- Fresh prawns, deveined and butterflied
- Betel leaves
- Shallots (eschallots)
- Red chilies
- Fresh Grated Coconut (or dessicated coconut)
- Fish Sauce
- Fresh lime
- Palm Sugar
- Thick Caramel Sauce (Cheong Chan, Rectangular Bottle with Red Label)
- Fresh coriander
- Crushed roasted peanuts
**Long Title:** "Miang Kham" Grilled Prawn Parcels with Hot Coconut Sambal
This was a dish I started making after trying something similar at Nu's restaurant in Adelaide. It can work as anything from finger food on a big platter to individual portions for an entree. Usually I will serve these with drinks before the meal if I'm having a dinner party. Keeps people occupied and starts the meal off very well. The best thing about it is that after the sambal is made it is very quick to assemble and serve.
Every time I have served these everyone has loved them (or at least, that's what they tell me) and at least one person always asks for the recipe. I hope you have good luck with it too.
1. Finely chop about 3 shallots, red chilies to taste, a clove of garlic and grate about 2 teaspoons of ginger. Heat some vegetable oil in a small saucepan and fry all of this off over medium heat.
2. When starting to brown add about two tablespoons of fish sauce, the juice of about half a lime, two tablespoons of palm sugar and about a tablespoon of the thick black caramel sauce for colour and sticky texture. Add in the coconut (about 3 tablespoons - if you're using dessicated coconut you might need to add in a tablespoon or so of water to make sure it doesn't dry too much). Mix and give it a minute or two to amalgamate.
3. Remove from heat and stir through some freshly chopped coriander and a tablespoon or so of the crushed roasted peanuts. The coconut sambal is now finished and should be a sticky black consistency. You can set this aside while you assemble the rest of the dish.
4. Season the prawns and toss in a little vegetable oil. Sear on the grill until done. You don't want the prawns to be too big because each parcel is best eaten as one big and gluttonous mouthful. If the prawn is too big people won't get the whole thing in their mouths.
5. To plate, arrange your betel leaves on whatever plate or platter you like (It's impossible for me to get betel leaves in Japan so I've used shiso leaves here with very good results - it's convenient OK, I'm not addicted to shiso. If you can't get either of those you could probably also substitute any edible fresh green leaf, e.g. large baby spinach leaves or something), top each leaf with a teaspoon or so of the sticky sambal and place a prawn on top of each leaf. Squeeze over a few drops of fresh lime and from a squeeze bottle or off the end of a spoon drizzle over a touch more of the black caramel sauce, sprinkle with some additional crushed peanuts and a few reserved coriander leaves. To eat, just wrap everything up in the leaf and stick it in your mouth.
6. Bask in the praise and adulation of your guests.
I think this dish has a good balance of flavours, temperatures and textures that makes it quite unique. The leaf is fresh, crisp and cool; the sambal is warm, spicy and sticky but with a slight crunch from the peanuts; and the grilled prawn is hot, firm and savoury. I don't think there are too many dishes where you can have all that in one delicious mouthful.