Recipe for Miang Khum – Thai Betel Leaf Parcels

I absolutely love the betel leaf parcels with prawn (miang goong) which I’ve tried at various Thai restaurants in Sydney and have been looking forward to trying to make my own. I happened to spot fresh betel leaves in Marrickville the other day and grabbed a bunch with which to experiment – excitement central!!!

I didn’t actually have any prawns, so technically I made miang khum, as the ‘goong’ bit means prawn. First of all, I have to say thanks VERY much to Saucy Onion for this fantastic recipe – it was easy to follow and turned out exactly as I’d hoped, plus I’m currently sprouting the leftover stems so I can plant my own betel bush! Also thanks to Thai Food & Travel for so clearly explaining that these are actually made from a related plant and not leaves from the infamous ‘true’ betel plant.

Betel leaves

(from Arun Thai Restaurant, Sydney)


1 teaspoon shrimp paste (also known as belacan or trasi)

1 teaspoon finely chopped galangal

1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot

1 tablespoon finely chopped root ginger

1 teaspoon finely blended dried shrimp

5 tablespoons shredded coconut

7 tablespoons fish sauce

4 tablespoons palm sugar

Parcels and filling:

a bunch of betel nut leaves, washed and dried

2 tablespoons dried shrimps

2 tablespoons diced root ginger

2 tablespoons diced lime (skin on)

2 tablespoons diced shallot

80g toasted, shredded coconut

2 red chillies sliced into rings

3 tablespoons raw unsalted peanuts (optional)


  1. First toast all the coconut and the peanuts until lightly golden.
  2. Next, make the sauce. Toast the shrimp paste in a dry pan for 2-3 minutes, until the paste is dry. Add a little peanut or vegetable oil and fry paste, the galangal, shallot, ginger and stir for two minutes until aromatic. 
  3. Add the dried shrimp, shredded coconut, palm sugar and fish sauce and stir over a low heat until the sauce thickens. The consistency should be quite sticky and taste both salty and sweet. 
  4. Remove the sauce from the heat and cool. 
  5. Next make the filling by combining all the ingredients except the peanuts (if using).
  6. Spoon a little onto each betel leaf, top with a small blob of sauce and a sprinkling of coarsely chopped peanuts.
  7. To eat, simply wrap around the filling and pop – whole – into your eagerly awaiting mouth for a most delicious, citrussy, zesty flavour explosion. 

2 thoughts on “Recipe for Miang Khum – Thai Betel Leaf Parcels

  1. Pingback: Bo La Lot – Beef in Betel Leaf « Scoff & Quaff

  2. Pingback: Thai Days: Thai starter is called Miang Khum – Thai betel leaf parcels | Hugh Paxton's Blog

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