BETEL LEAF Piper sarmentosum also ka wild pepper, kadok, bai cha plu,cha plu, bai som phou, sirih dudu, daun kaduk, betel pepper, la lot. Betel leaf is a completely different plant to Betel pepper Piper betle, which is chewed with betel nut.
The spicy leaves are popular in south east Asian cooking, 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 favorite snack, ‘mieng kum’, using an assortment of fillings, like peanuts, shrimps, shallots with lime and raw ginger.
Soaking the leaves in cold water with a little sugar for 2 hours before use subtly alters the flavour. As the leaves are very attractive, they are often used as a base to line platters, with foods arranged on top.