Betel leaf portions
Betel leaf portions
One of my favourite entrees when I go out is some sort of deliciousness wrapped up in a betel leaf. My recipe for Betel leaves with crab salad, crispy noodles and a lime and ginger mayonnaise is delicious and if you don’t have the betel leaves you can serve this salad in a lettuce leaf, tart shell, or roll it up in rice papers. I have used the very well known Buderim Ginger Lemon Lime Marmalade for this recipe, grab it here as I know once you have it you will love using it on everything.
Having the last couple of years to tend to my edible garden, I have come to love the Betel leaf as its the one thing that has grown beautiful in my garden. Not to be confused with the Betel pepper Piper betle, which is chewed with the betel nut. The Betel leaf you see in many Asian inspired restaurants is an evergreen, perennial creeper which grows to about 90 cm high. It has beautiful shiny heart-shaped leaves with small white flower spikes. And take it from me it grows vigorously in the right position. It loves a partly sunny, partly shaded area with well drained soil and if you get the chance to get your hands on a plant it can successfully grow in colder areas in a hanging basket or large pot and moved to a warm, sheltered position in winter.
The spicy leaves are popular in south east Asian cooking, being used raw and cooked. To eat raw in a salad or use as a wrapping the young tender leaves are best. In Thailand, these wraps are a favourite snack, ‘mieng kum’, using an assortment of fillings, like peanuts, prawns, shallots with lime and raw ginger. As the leaves are very attractive, they are perfect to line platters, with foods arranged on top. The white flower spikes develop into a small fruit that can be also be eaten.
350 g cooked, crab meat
1 tbsp finely chopped Crystalized ginger
1 bird’s eye chilli, sliced ( optional if you love heat)
1 long red chilli, halved, seeded and diced
2 red Asian shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1 cup (firmly packed) small mint leaves
1 cup (firmly packed) small coriander (cilantro) leaves
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded, reserving some for garnish
2 1/2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, crushed,
1/4 cup Fried noodles
Salmon roe (optional)
24 young betel leaves (or perilla leaves)
Lime and Ginger Mayonnaise
Makes ½ cup
1/2 cup sugar free pure mayonnaise
2 teaspoon lime zest
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp Buderim Ginger Lemon & Lime Marmalade ( optional ) add in 1/4 tsp of fresh grated ginger and 1/2 tsp of grated palm sugar if you can find a similar product)
1 garlic clove, minced
Good pinch salt & pepper
For the Crab Salad
Combine the crab with all the other ingredients except the fried noodles. Toss the salad with the dressing and place spoonful’s onto the betel leaves, top with the crispy noodles and caviar.
For the Lemon, Lime & Ginger Mayonnaise
Stir together mayonnaise with all the ingredients until combined, add enough to the crab salad to taste, spoon onto betel leaves, top with crispy noodles and salmon roe if using.