• Betel leaves topped with chicken, roasted coconut, peanuts and lime (Petrina Tinslay)Source: Petrina Tinslay

These make a great little nibble with drinks, you could plate up for a pretty entrée or serve deconstructed, as we have, on a platter for friends to share and make their own.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (57 votes)


  • ¼ cup shredded or flaked coconut
  • ¼ cup raw peanuts
  • 1 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp grated root ginger
  • 1 small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 250 g chicken mince
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp shaved palm sugar
  • 18 betel leaves, rinsed and dried
  • ½ lime, unpeeled and very finely diced
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves
  • 2 makrut lime leaves, finely julienned

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Serves 18 as an appetiser

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Roast the coconut and peanuts on separate trays for 5 minutes or until each is golden brown. Once cool, roughly chop the peanuts, set aside with the coconut.

Heat the oil in the wok over a high heat and sauté garlic, ginger and chilli for 1–2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the chicken mince and sauté until browned. Add the fish sauce and the palm sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved.

Serve each betel leaf topped with chicken mixture, a little sprinkle of the coconut, peanuts, diced lime and top with coriander and makrut lime leaves. Serve immediately.


• Glossy, dark green betel leaves are available at Thai grocers, it you can’t find them substitute with small English spinach leaves.


Photography by Petrina Tinslay, styling by David Morgan and art direction by Anne Marie Cummins.