Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Jul 14, 2006 05:30 PM

Looking for mieng kam in Los Angeles

I had this tasty dish up in Seattle at Thaiku - but haven't the slightest idea where I could find it here, in LA. I imagine that since we have Thai town that it can't be that hard! Anyone know of a place that serves this?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Miang kum is sort of a hard dish to do in restaurants because it requires explanation (now, see that leaf, fold it into half of a pyramid and start filling that leaf with a bit of paste, add some ginger, etc...). What we do have in LA is miang kum kits that are available at the Thai markets. These kits include all the fixings for miang kum - except they often use the wrong kind of leaf. These kits are sometimes available at the Silom Market in Thai Town and the Bangluck markets in both Thai Town and NoHo.

    There was a thread about this very topic maybe 18 months ago and someone claimed to have seen a vendor at Wat Thai making miang kum, but I still haven't seen it there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: igj

      When you say "the wrong kind of leaf," what is the *right* kind? What do the kits include that's "wrong?"

      Interestingly, the only place I've ever found this dish is at a restaurant in Philadelphia, of all places.

      1. re: Jack Flash

        The leaf that I had from my regular miang kum vendors in BKK (one in Chatuchak and one on Silom Road), I have been told, was pandanus leaf. That actually doesn't seem right, but that is the English name I was given. The kits in LA sometimes have spinach-like leaves - whatever they are, they are not the same as the ones from BKK.

        Everything else in the kit is the same as the fillings available (or not so available anymore now that miang kum is 'out of fashion') in Bangkok.

        I will try to investigate more - my Thai teacher told me he just got an offer of a tree with the leaves for miang kum.

    2. Yeah, apparently there are many different leaves that are used for this dish. I came across this: searching and you can see that flower petals were used and that was in Bangkok

      I also came across this explanation for leaves as well:

      "Wrapping Leaves: The choice of what leaves to use is up to you. Some use lettuce or spinach leaves due to ready availability, but to get an authentic flavor you can visit an Asian grocery store and try to find cha-phloo leaves. These leaves are also known in English as Betel Leaves, or Piper Sermentosum. In Vietnamese language, these leaves are labeled as La Lop."

      I guess it equates to the idea that there is only one way to skin a cat. (Pardon the imagery)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Micako

        That's it! Cha-bploo. Bai Dtoey is panadanus and I guess you could use those as well.

        But, in the US, spinach is easy to get, so that is probably what is available in those kits at Silom/Bangluck markets.

        1. re: Micako

          La lot leaves are available on an occasional basis at 99 Ranch stores and at Phu Ky market on Valley near Atlantic in Alhambra.

        2. But still no reports of it being on a menu anywhere, eh? I wonder if I will have to make a special order of it at my fav joint. As much as I like cooking, I do prefer being served even more!

          1. It has been a while since I've been there, but both Thai Desserts and Silom Supermarket on Hollywood Blvd used to have a premade mieng kam for sale in their refrigerator cases. It was certainly good, but I have yet to find a restaurant serving this dish in southern california (except for Erewhan on Melrose which folded and is now M Chaya.) The best one I've had (besides my own recipe) was at place on Mission
            St. in the Excelsior neighborhood in San Francisco.