DAUN KADUK (WILD PEPPER LEAF)

The kaduk is native to Malaysia and Indonesia. It is widely planted in China and Southeast Asia. It grows easily in both partially or exposed sites, on a wide range of soils. The leaves are thin, dark green, glabrous, and broadly oval-shaped with an acuminate apex, about 7.5 to 9cm long and 3 to 7.5cm wide. The petiole is about 4 cm long. The wild pepper leaf extracts have anti-oxidant properties and leaves can be made into a drink to relieve the symptoms of malaria. Chewing the roots is supposed to offer relief from toothaches.

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The leaves are used raw in SE Asian cuisine; for Thais use the leaves to make Mieng Kum(a popular snack) which is a mix of chopped shallots, lime, dried shrimp, green chillies an ginger all wrapped up in a wild pepper leaf. In Malaysia, the leaves are finely sliced and added to Nasi Ulam (Herb Rice) or as base for the Otak Otak wrapping.

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