Thai cocktail cups

Thai cocktail cups

Miang kai krathong krop

By
From
South East Asian Food

This is a sophisticated Bangkok adaptation of a country snack using the leaves of a wild creeper, bai cha phlu or ‘betel’ leaf, the recipe for which is given below. For this adaptation you need a special brass mould for making cocktail cups. The wooden handle looks like the top of a ladle but it branches out into small fluted cups at the base. I have sometimes seen these moulds in Asian food stores in Australia.

Batter

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50g rice flour
50g plain flour
700ml thin coconut milk
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Filling

Quantity Ingredient
1-2 teaspoons sugar
salt
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 tablespoon white rice, that has been dry-roasted until golden brown, and then ground to a sandy consistency, (optional)
1 cup minced steamed chicken meat
1 cup skinned roasted peanuts
1/3 cup peeled and chopped young fresh ginger
1/3 cup chopped peeled shallots
1/3 cup chopped pickled garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped or grated lime skin
fresh chilli sliced in rounds and chopped coriander leaves, for garnish

Method

  1. Sift and mix the two kinds of flour in a bowl, adding the coconut milk gradually, taking care to stir out all lumps, until you have a thin batter.
  2. Heat sufficient oil in a wok or a saucepan for deep frying. Let the mould stand in the oil as it heats. Remove the mould when hot, emptying it of all oil, then dip it into the batter, allowing it to become coated with the mixture on the outside only. Return the coated mould to the pan of hot oil and allow the batter to cook, easing the cup off the mould as it sets and allowing it to finish cooking in the oil as you repeat the process. Remove the cups when they are cooked and drain them thoroughly.
  3. In a bowl mix together the sugar, salt, lime juice, ground rice and chicken. Take a cup in one hand, put in a little each of the peanuts, ginger, shallots, pickled garlic and lime skin. Cover with a spoonful of chicken mixture and garnish the top with a slice of chilli and some chopped coriander leaves or parsley. Repeat the process until all the cups and filling are used up.
  4. The country version is called Miang kham bai cha phlu. Young ‘betel’ leaves are put on a plate and surrounded by small bowls containing, respectively, small whole roasted or fried peanuts, fresh young ginger, shallots and young unpeeled limes – all chopped into about 1 cm cubes. Bowls of roasted mature coconut meat shaved into flakes or cut into cubes or grated, some chopped small chillies and some tiny dried shrimps, soaked in water and also chopped are added. Small amounts of the garnishes are placed on a leaf and topped with a spoonful of a sweet sauce made from equal quantities of grated fresh coconut and palm sugar mixed with a little shrimp paste to taste and blended to a smooth sauce with water. Wrap up into a mouthful-sized package.
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