Burmese Dishes include “mohinga” (rice noodles in fish soup), “ohn noh khauk swe” (noodles served with coconut milk gravy), “lephet” (fermented tea leaf salad), curried stews with chicken, fish or pork, skewered meats, stir fried dishes beans, fresh-baked flatbread, crispy-fried squash with tamarind sauce, tamarind soup, green tea leaves with garlic, ginger roots and toasted beans, and okra with crispy onions.

Most of the restaurants frequented by tourists serve Indian, Thai or Chinese food, such as fried noodles; fried rice; fried rice with chicken, pork, or prawns; Indian-style curry; thick, salty, heavily-spiced Burmese-style curry; crispy fried noodles; sweet and sour vegetables, pork or chicken; beef in oyster sauce; chicken with ginger and coconut milk; fried rice with ginger; kebabs; birani; curried chicken; grilled fish in banana leaves; chicken or prawn soup; fried eggs, scrambled eggs, or omelettes; and a choice of soups. Backpacker-style food is also available in backpacker places.

Common Burmese dishes include: 1) Gyin thohk, ginger salad with sesame seeds; 2) Khauk, wheat noodle salad with dried shrimps, shredded cabbage and carrots, dressed with fried peanut oil, fish sauce and lime; 3) Kat kyi hnyat (lit. 'cut with scissors'), a southern coastal dish (from the Dawei area) of rice noodles with a variety of seafood, land meats, raw bean sprouts, beans and fried eggs, comparable to pad thai; 4) Kyay oh, vermicelli noodles in soup with pork offal and greens; 5) Let thohk sohn, similar to htamin thohk with shredded green papaya, shredded carrot, ogonori sea moss and often wheat noodles; 6) Ohn-no khao swè, curried chicken and wheat noodles in a coconut milk broth similar to Malaysian laksa and Chiang Mai's khao soi; 7) Sanwin makin, semolina cake with raisins, walnuts and poppy seeds; 8) Shwe gyi mohnt, hardened semolina (wheat) porridge with poppy seeds; and 9) Shwe yin aye, agar jelly, tapioca and sago in coconut milk. [Source: Wikipedia +]

Mohinga is the unofficial national dish of Myanmar. It is made of rice vermicelli in fish broth with onions, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and sliced tender core of banana-stem, served with boiled eggs, fried fish cake (nga hpe) and fritters (akyaw). Mont let saung—made from tapioca balls, glutinous rice, grated coconut and toasted sesame with jaggery syrup in coconut milk—is a popular snack and dessert. Nan gyi thohk, or Mont di, is a thick rice noodle salad with chickpea flour, chicken, fish cake (nga hpe), onions, coriander, spring onions, crushed dried chilli, dressed with fried crispy onion oil, fish sauce and lime. +

Myanmar offers a variety of noodle dishes: friend noodles, noodles in broth, noodles in starch soup, coconut milk noodles, Chinese Muslim style noodles, and noodle salad. An indigenous dish of noodles that is gaining in popularity is Shan "soaked noodles" (See Shan Dishes)

Chinese and Indian-Inspired Burmese Dishes

Chinese-inspired Burmese dishes include: 1) A sein kyaw, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, green beans, baby corn, cornflour or tapioca starch, tomatoes, squid sauce; 2) Hpet htohk (lit. leaf wrap), meat, pastry paper, ginger, garlic, pepper powder, and salt, usually served with soup or noodles; 3) Htamin jaw, fried rice with boiled peas (pè byouk), the poor man's favourite breakfast; 4) Kawyei khao swè, noodles and curried duck (or pork) in broth with eggs; 5) Mi swan, very soft rice noodles, known as Mee suah in Singapore and Malaysia, a popular option for invalids, usually with chicken broth; 6) Panthay khao swè, halal noodles with chicken and spices, often served by the Muslim Panthay Chinese; 7) San byohk, rice congee with fish, chicken or duck; 8) Seejet khao swè, wheat noodles with duck or pork, fried garlic oil, soy sauce and chopped spring onions, considered an 'identity dish' of Myanmar and Burmese Chinese, as it is not available in other Chinese cuisines (Sarawak's Kolok mee is a bit similar); and 9)Wet Tha Dote Htoe, pork offal cooked in light soy sauce, eaten with raw ginger and chili sauce. [Source: Wikipedia +]

Indian-inspired Burmese dishes include: 1) Danbauk, Burmese-style biryani with either chicken or mutton served with mango pickle, fresh mint and green chili; 2) Fried chapati, crispy and blistered, with boiled peas (pè-byohk), a popular breakfast next to nan bya; 3) Halawa, a snack made of sticky rice, butter, coconut milk, from Indian dessert halwa. In Burma halwa is referred to a loose form, something like smashed potato, without baking into a hard or firmer cake in contrast to Sa-Nwin-Ma-Kin. +

4) Hpaluda, similar to the Indian dessert falooda, rose water, milk, jello, coconut jelly, coconut shavings, sometimes served with custard and ice cream. Others include: 5) Htat taya ( lit. "a hundred layers"), fried flaky multi-layered paratha with either a sprinkle of sugar or pè byouk; 6) Htawbat htamin, rice made with butter and mostly eaten with chicken curry; 7) Malaing lohn, Burmese-style gulab jamun; 8) Nan bya, Burmese-style naan buttered or with pè byouk, also with mutton soup; 9) Palata, Burmese-style paratha with egg or mutton; 10) Samusa, Burmese-style samosa with mutton and onions served with fresh mint, green chilli, onions and lime; 11) Samusa thohk, samosa salad with onions, cabbage, fresh mint, potato curry, masala, chili powder, salt and lime; 12) Theezohn chinyay (lit. vegetable all-sorts), a sour broth, with drumstick, lady's finger, eggplant, green beans, potato, onions, ginger, dried chilli, boiled egg, dried salted fish, fish paste and tamarind. +

Burmese Dishes Inspired by the Cuisine of Myanmar’s Ethnic Groups

Shan-inspired dishes include: 1) Htamin jin, a rice, tomato and potato or fish salad kneaded into round balls dressed and garnished with crisp fried onion in oil, tamarind sauce, coriander and spring onions often with garlic, Chinese chives or roots (ju myit), fried whole dried chili, grilled dried fermented bean cakes (pè bouk} and fried dried topu (topu jauk kyaw) on the side; 2) Lahpet thohk, a salad of pickled tea leaves with fried peas, peanuts and garlic, toasted sesame, fresh garlic, tomato, green chili, crushed dried shrimps, preserved ginger and dressed with peanut oil, fish sauce and lime; 3) Meeshay, rice noodles with pork and/or chicken, bean sprouts, rice flour gel, rice flour fritters, dressed with soy sauce, salted soybean, rice vinegar, fried peanut oil, chilli oil, and garnished with crisp fried onions, crushed garlic, coriander, and pickled daikon/mustard greens; 4) Papaya salad; 5) Shan tohu, a type of tofu made from chickpea flour or yellow split pea eaten as fritters (tohpu jaw) or in a salad (tohpu thohk), also eaten hot before it sets as tohu byawk aka tohu nway and as fried dried tohpu (tohu jauk kyaw); 6) Shan khao swè, rice noodles with chicken or minced pork, onions, garlic, tomatoes, chili, crushed roasted peanuts, young vine of mangetout, served with tohu jaw or tohu nway and pickled mustard greens (monnyinjin); 7) Wet tha chin, preserved minced pork in rice; 8) Wet tha hmyit chin, pork with sour bamboo shoots. [Source: Wikipedia +]

Mon-inspired dishes include: 1) Thingyan htamin, fully boiled rice in candle-smelt water served with mango salad; 2) Htamane, a dessert made from glutinous rice, shredded coconuts and peanuts; 3) Banana pudding, a dessert made from banana boiled in coconut milk and sugar; 4) Wet mohinga, like mohinga but vermicelli is served while wet; 5) Durian jam, also known as Katut jam; 6) Nga baung thohk, mixed vegetables and prawn, wrapped in morinda leaves and then banana leaves outside; 7) Sa-nwin makin, a dessert cake made from semolina, sugar, butter, coconut. +

Rakhine-inspired dishes include: a Mont di, an extremely popular and economical fast food dish where rice vermicelli are either eaten with some condiments and soup prepared from nga-pi, or as a salad with powdered fish and some condiments; 2) Kya zan thohk, glass vermicelli salad with boiled prawn julien and mashed curried duck eggs and potatoes; 3) Ngapi daung, an extremely spicy condiment made from pounded ngapi and green chili; 4) Khayun thee nga chauk chet - aubergine cooked lightly with a small amount of oil, with dried fish and chilli; 5) Nga-pyaw-thi-bohn, bananas stewed in milk and coconut, and garnished with black sesame. Eaten either as a dish during meals, or as a dessert; 6) Saw-hlaing mont, a baked sweet, made from millet, raisins, coconut and butter; and 7)Sut-hnan - millet cooked in sweet milk with raisins. +

Recipes for Burmese Rice Specialties

Fried Rice with assorted vegetables: Ingredients: 12 ounces pork; 3 medium tomatoes; 1 ½ teaspoons garlic chopped; 1 cup green peas shelled; 1 1/3 tablespoons salt; 2 medium onions; ½ teaspoon pepper; 2 large green chilies; 12 ounces prawns; 2/3 cup oil before shelling; 7 cups rice. cooked and cold; 2 carrots; 1 tablespoon thick soy sauce. How to cook: Boil pork with 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 of chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pinch pepper. As soon as the pork is tender cut in thin slices. Set stock aside. Shell and clean prawns and cut in small pieces. Cut carrots in fine slices. Chop tomatoes, slice onions, remove chili seeds and cut skin in strips. Pound rest of garlic finely. Heat 1/3 of oil in small pan. Fry onions till clear. Add tomato. When tomato liquid is absorbed put in prawns and pork. Cook 5 minutes. Add carrots, peas and 3 tablespoons pork stock. Cover and simmer till water is absorbed. Mix rice well with 1 tablespoon salt. soy sauce. and pepper. Heat remaining oil in large pan till it smokes. Put in rice and toss over heat and fry 5 minutes at least. Add meat and vegetable mixture, then chili strips and continue to toss and fry till well done, adding rest of finely pounded garlic before last stirring. Serve with raw cabbage salad, clear pork broth sprinkled with chopped celery and seasoned to taste. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

Coconut Rice: Ingredients: 1 large or 1 ½ pounds grated; 1 tablespoon salt; 1 fresh coconut; 1/2 teaspoon turmeric; 4 cups raw rice; 3 cloves; 2 tablespoons oil; 1 stick cinnamon; 4 medium onions; 3 or 4 bay leaves. How to cook: Grate coconut and extract milk in this way. Put in fine cloth, knead and set aside thick milk. Add 1/2 cup hot water, knead and set aside liquid. Repeat with more water till total of 8 cups of liquid is obtained. Clean and wash rice well. Drain and put in rice cooker. Mix into it coconut milk, oil, onions (peeled and quartered), salt, turmeric and spices. Put over good heat. Cover and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. After the mixture comes to a boil continue stirring until only a little liquid remains. Place pot over embers only and put red-hot coals over lid, or place pot in a moderately heated oven for 10 to 15 minutes. This part is important to obtain an aromatic taste. =

Kneaded Fish Rice: Ingredients: 3 ½ pounds fresh. whole fish ngayan. catfish. or perch; 2 teaspoons (or to taste) salt; 1 teaspoon turmeric; 1 ¼ cups oil; 1 ½ cups onion. finely chopped; 1 tablespoon dried garlic chips; 1 teaspoon or less chili powder; 1 teaspoon ginger powder; 1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes; 2 large onions. for slicing; 8 spring onions (scallions). bulb and stalk; 2 teaspoons chili powder. coarse; 8 cups so cooked rice; Some potato crisps. How to cook: Clean fish. Chop in 2-inch chunks keeping head whole if there is one. Rub with 1 teaspoon salt and half the turmeric. Heat 1/3 cup oil. Fry in it the chopped onion, garlic, chili and ginger until aromatic. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Add fish. Stir carefully while adding 3 cups water. Cover and cook 25 minutes. Slice 2 onions finely and evenly. Chop spring onion stalks (or greens) into small pieces. Remove fish chunks from broth. Leave head in broth and boil 15 minutes more. =

From chunks take flesh, pressing to detect bones, and remove. Heat rest of oil. Fry sliced onions until light brown. Drain and set aside. Reheat oil and put in coarse-pounded chili. Take pan off fire and let chili cook until the oil is colored red while still in pan. Drain off the chili and set aside. Add rest of turmeric and shredded fish to oil. Cook a few minutes while stirring. Put soft rice in basin. Add to it 2/3 of the fish with oil and rest of salt, 1/2 of fried onion and fish broth, making sure it is free of bones. Mix well, pressing hard. On a long platter arrange 2/3 of rice in 6 oblong portions. Sprinkle each with shredded fish and chopped spring onion greens. Cover with rest of rice. pressing each portion into good shape. Dress tops with remaining fried onions and sides with fried chili crisp and spring onions. =

Butter Rice: Ingredients: rice; butter; sugar; dried grapes; cashew nut; cinnamon bay leaves; some salt; sesame seeds, 163 grams; flour 1 tea spoon. Steps to cook: Myanmar people like to cook rice together with coconut or butter. First. pour some butter into the pan and heat. Then fry some leaves and sesame. When it’s smell is good add flour into the rice. Add salt and sugar and mix thoroughly. After a few minutes pour them into the pot. Add some water to reach 1 inch above of rice. Bring it to boil and stir. When it is nearly cooked add and dried grapes. Cook the rice for about half an hour. Butter rice is usually eaten with Myanmar style chicken curry. =

Danbauk or Biryani

Danbauk (biryani) is a popular dish of Indian and Muslim origin, using ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil. Ingredients: 2 (3-pound) chickens; 3/4teaspoon turmeric; 1/8 teaspoon saffron; 1/2 teaspoon pepper; 2 tablespoons salt; 1 cup curds or yoghurt; 5 cups raw rice; 2 ½ cups onions. chopped finely; 1 tablespoon dried garlic chips; 5 large onions for slicing; 1 cup ghee (clarified butter); 3 or 4 bay leaves; 1 cinnamon stick; 3 cloves; 6 cardomoms; 1½ teaspoons ginger powder; 1 cup cream; 8 ounces raisins (optional, but not favored by the people of Myanmar); 2 ounces almonds. chopped. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

How to cook: Disjoint chicken. Take pieces and rub with pinch turmeric, pepper, 1 ½ teaspoons salt and soak in curds. Boil bony bits for stock. Wash rice and cook it in 5 cups water or less, until water is absorbed (i.e. rice must not be fully cooked). Pound the finely chopped onions. Soak garlic in 2 teaspoons water. Slice the 5 large onions evenly and finely. Heat 1/2 cup ghee. Fry in it sliced onion until light gold. Drain and set aside. Into ghee put bay leaves. cinnamon,cloves and cardamom. =

When aroma rises, put in 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and pounded onions, garlic and ginger. Fry over lowered heat until fragrant. Add chicken, stir and cook over raised heat 5 minutes. Then add marinating liquid (curds), cover and simmer until tender. To 2 cups stock add cream, saffron and rest of salt and stir in. When meat is tender, melt rest of ghee separately and assemble on table the following: rice, fried onions, cooked meat, mixed liquid, melted ghee, raisins and chopped almonds. Into a large pot put in evenly distributed layers a portion of each of the above in this order: ghee, rice, onions (and raisins and almonds if used), meat pieces and mixed liquid. Repeat once more but have some rice and liquid remaining. Cover with rice layer. Mix liquid with gravy from meat pan and pour it slowly to get all of it into pan of packed mixture. Cover pot and bake in moderately slow oven (325̊) for half an hour at least. Or put over very slow fire with hot coals on flat lid. =

Mandalay Myee Shay

'Myee shay' is a popular snack. Tasty versions come from Kyaukme, Bhamaw, Myitkyina, Lashio and Taunggyi as well as Mandalay. Ingredients: Rice noodles (spaghetti type) chicken or pork; bean sprouts; onion sprouts; Chinese coriander leaves; dried red chilli; garlic; ginger starch; salted soy bean with syrup; dark soy sauce; salted pickled tofu; pickled mustard leaves; carrot; mixed vegetables. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

How to cook: First marinate meat with salt. Boil until tender. Strain meat and let it cool. Debone flesh and shred into thing pieces. Place in bowl. Put rice noodles in strainer. Dip in boiling water to soften and drain. Place them in a bowl. Put bean sprouts in strainer. Dip in boiling water and drain. Place in bowl. Deep fry dried red chilli until the color turns old gold. Strain. let it cool and pound. Then mix in fried oil and place in bowl. Pound garlic. Scoop in small sauce bowl and mix with vinegar. =

Cut onion sprouts into small pieces. Also cut coriander leaves. Put on plate. Mix starch with warm water and stir until it turns into thick paste. Put in bowl. Mix salted pickled tofu with warm water and stir until paste. Put in bowl. Optional: cut loin of pork into thin strips. Dip in tampura and deep-fry until golden brown. Put them on a plate. Prepare soup with chicken bones or pork rib adding a dash of ginger. =

How to prepare and enjoy a bowlful of Myee-shay (Dressing): First scoop one helping of rice noodles into a dinner bowl. Put in a liberal amount of shredded meat. Add red chilli oil for color and aroma. Put in starch paste, soybean pickle, salted tofu paste and a teaspoon of dark soy sauce. Then top it with bean sprouts (onion sprouts if you like it). Add pounded red chilli if you like the hot burning taste. Add pickled vegetables if you prefer the sour taste. Then cut fried pork strip into sizeable pieces and top it. Take a teaspoon of garlic vinegar. To make an accompanying delicious soup take a bowl of hot stock and sprinkle pepper, cut onion sprouts and coriander leaves in it. =


Mohingar is typically synonymous with Myanmar as is pizza to Italy, hot-dogs to USA, tea to the British, sukiyaki to the Japanese, pau to the Chinese and chapati to the Indians. Verily it is an all-time favorite from breakfast, through lunch to high teatime and even stretching to supper. You can find it everywhere: in reputable food centers, in markets, school canteens and street stalls. Itinerant sellers traverse through streets with it in small push carts. Women balance it on their heads in baskets. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

Mohingar is indeed Myanmar's fast food because it can be relished instantly without much ado—and it is pleasing and tasty. Its is rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. It is also easy to prepare with ingredients within reach of every budget. A general run-of-the-mill recipe includes following ingredients: rice noodles; fish (fresh water or marine); fish or prawn sauce; a small measure of salted fish; lemon grass; tender banana stems; ginger; garlic; pepper; onion; turmeric powder; rice flour; dahl (Indian bean) powder; dried chilli powder; and cooking oil. =

The method of cooking the broth differs with each region and taste of the locality. This fish broth is eaten with rice noodles. The rice noodles that go with mohingar are prepared by a special process, and carry a whiff of mild fermentation. Fresh slabs of noodles are also available, which have to be sliced. Each region, each town, even each reputable shop has its own secret recipe. Some add coconut milk to heighten aroma and flavor. The most common species of fresh-water fish that go into Mohingar broth are carp, catfish and butterfish. =

The monhingar prepared along the coastal regions use marine fish. Deltaic towns, with their numerous lakes called 'inns', meaning large expanse of water catchment, are ideal for farming fish. The broth is prepared with a liberal mix of fish fresh from the latest catch. In the Upper Myanmar region to the north people prefer a thick broth with dahl flour. Rakhine Mohingar is famous for its distinct blend of flavors that includes a very liberal mix of hot pepper.Rakhine Mohingar is popularly known by the name "Hot palate. hot tongue concoction" (Aap- lYap). =

Laying a mohingar table calls for elaborate preparation. The cooked broth is put in shining aluminum or steel receptacle and placed on an open fire to keep it boiling because mohingar is served steaming hot to bring forth the correct flavor and taste. In addition, mohingar is taken with other accompanying side dishes to make it a feast fit for a king. On the table are spread colorful arrays of food adornments such as fried sliced gourd with tempura (a favourite with Myanmars as french fries are to the Westerners), fried onions, fried fish cakes sliced to size and sliced hard-boiled eggs. Alongside with these dishes are laid a dish of dried chilli for those who like it hot; slices of fresh lemon to squeeze for those who like the sweet-and-sour flavor; and chopped green coriander leaves. =

Burmese Curry Dishes

Beef Curry: Ingredients: 2 1/2 pounds of beef; 1 ½ tablespoons of fish sauce; 1/3 teaspoon of turmeric; 1 tablespoon of vinegar; 3 teaspoons of dried garlic chips; 1 ½ cups onions. to be chopped finely; 1 teaspoon of chili powder; 2 teaspoons of ginger powder; 3/4 cup oil (less if beef is fatty); 2 teaspoons salt; 3 bay leaves; 2 or 3 cinnamon sticks; 5 cloves; 5 peppercorns. How to cook: Cut meat in 2-inch cubes. Rub well with fish sauce, turmeric and vinegar. Leave overnight (if cool) or a few hours. Soak garlic chips in 2 teaspoons water. Rub beef with garlic, onion, chili, ginger, oil and mix well. Add water just to cover. Cover tightly and cook over slowest fire. When first water is gone add small amounts as needed until meat is tender. When tender correct for salt. Put in bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns; cook slowly, stirring until oil on top is clear. This recipe can be used for cheaper cuts cooked in a crock pot. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

Vegetable Curry: Ingredients: 2 medium potatoes; 1/2 cup diced salt fish; 3/4 cup diced green beans; 2 teaspoons dried garlic chips; 3/4 cup sprigged cauliflower; 1 ½ cups onion. chopped finely; 1 medium eggplant Large pinch turmeric; 3/4 cup cut okra; 1/2 cup oil; 3 medium tomatoes. fairly green; 1 teaspoon ginger powder; 2 green chilies; 1 teaspoon chili powder; 1 small bunch coriander leaves; Salt to taste. How to cook: Peel and cut potatoes and eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Keep eggplant under water. Cut green beans into 1-inch lengths and saltfish into 3/4-inch cubes. Wash okra, dry and cut into 1-inch lengths. Chop one tomato finely and 2 tomatoes into chunks. Trim stalks from chilies. Chop coriander leaves. Soak garlic chips in 1½ teaspoons water. Heat oil; put in garlic, onion, turmeric, ginger and chili powder and fry until fragrant. Add saltfish, finely chopped tomato and coriander. Stir and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Add potatoes. 1 cup water. 1 teaspoon salt and cook 10 to 12 minutes. Add green beans. eggplant. cauliflower and green chilies successively with 3/4 cup water. After 5 minutes add tomatoes cut in chunks and okra. Correct for salt and cook about 2 minutes after okra is in. =

Chicken coconut curry: Ingredients: 8 oz sliced boneless chicken meat; 1 inch knob ginger sliced; 6 cloves garlic; 6 roots coriander; 2 stalks lemon grass; 6 seeds pepper corns; 5 pods small green chilies; 7 leaves lime; 12 leaves coriander; 2 cups thick first water of coconut milk; 2 Cups thin second water of coconut milk; ¼ cup fish sauce; ¼ cup lime juice. Steps to cook: Chop the garlic, coriander roots and lemon grass and put in a mortar together with the peppercorns and half the ginger, then pound until smooth. Crush the chilies and shred the lime and coriander leaves. Bring half the thick coconut milk to boil and stir fry for 4-5 minutes. Add chicken and remaining ginger and all the remaining coconut milk and bring back to the boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until the chicken is tender. Then add the fish sauce, lime juice and chilies. Stir and cook for a further minute. Transfer to a soup tureen and sprinkle the shredded leaves as garnish. =

Chicken Curry Myanmar Style: Ingredients: 2 lbs chicken cut into pieces & marinated; 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder; 1-1/4 teaspoon chili powder; 1" ginger pounded; 1 teaspoon garlic pounded; 3 teaspoon onion pounded; 2 stalks lemon glass sliced thinly and pounded; 2 teaspoon salt; 2 teaspoon oil; 2 cups water. Steps to cook: Place the marinated chicken in a cooking pot. Add all the ingredients and cook until chicken is tender. Sustain the light gravy. People in Myanmar like a light gravy to sprinkle on their rice. The chicken usually found on the table is a curry. The chicken has been smothered in a cloud of condiments and spices until the air is like the air of an Indian bazaar. =

Egg Plant Curry: Ingredients: 3 big egg-plants; 2 onions to make 1 cup crushed; 2 table spoons cooked oil; 1 teaspoon sugar. Steps to cook: Pinch of salt to taste. Heat egg-plants over charcoal until skin is brown. Remove skin and cut egg-plant into small pieces. Put the cut egg-plant into a bowl. Add oil, sugar and salt. Mix well. Sometimes, it is also delicious to cook the eggplant with coconut milk. =

Burmese Prawn, Duck and Fish Curries

Fish Curry: This recipe familiar to women in small towns and villages. Ingredients: 3.4 lbs filleted fish; 4.5 oz oil; 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder; 1 inch ginger root; 1 teaspoon pounded garlic; 2 tablespoon pounded onion; 1/2 cup tamarind liquor; 1 tablespoon chili powder; 2 tablespoon fish sauce; 1/4 cup snipped coriander leaves dash of salt sufficient water to cover fillet. How to cook: Marinate the fillet of fish with salt, turmeric, chili and fish sauce. Put marinated fish together with garlic, onion, ginger, tamarind liquor and oil in cooking pot with sufficient water to cover all. Bring to boil and continue for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the coriander leaves and remove from stove. Serves a dozen persons. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

Prawn Curry: Characteristic of Burmese prawn curry is that the prawn heads are left on, as tasty essences are inside them and these should ooze out during cooking. Ingredients: 3 pounds (or) 9 prawns of 5-inch; 2/3 cup oil; 1 tablespoon fish sauce; 1 teaspoon ginger powder; 1/3 teaspoon turmeric; 1/2 teaspoon chili powder; 2 teaspoons dried garlic chips; 2 medium tomatoes; 1 cup onions. chopped finely; Salt. as needed after fish sauce. How to cook: Wash prawns and chop off “whiskers.” At the top of the head look for two tusk-like pieces. Pull out and in so doing a bag of black excretion should come out intact. Get it out cleanly. Peel off shell. Slit 1/8 inch deep down center of back and remove black thread seen there. Wipe prawn clean. Rub with fish sauce and turmeric carefully. Soak garlic chips in 1½ teaspoons water. Heat oil. Fry garlic and onion on low heat until fragrant. Add ginger and chili. fry 1 minute. Lay prawns in this. Cover and cook over raised heat for 5 minutes. Add 1/3 cup water, stir or turn carefully. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Squeeze in tomato pulp, add salt if needed, and cook until curry is pinky red, with clear oil at top. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

Duck Curry: Duck skin contains much fat and has a rougher texture. When we eat out we scarecly order roast duck because it's quite frustrating to separate the meat from the bone. But in the informality of the home duck makes quite a tasty dish. Ingredients: One fresh duck; 1tsp salt freshly ground black pepper; 50 ml (1/4 cup) dark soy sauce; 4 dried black mushrooms; 14 oz squash cloves garlic; small onions; oil for deep frying; 5 1/3 cups chicken stock pickled limes; 2 teaspoon corn flour. How to cook: Clean and prepare duck and cut into pieces. Place in shallow dish add salt, pepper, soy sauce and let stand for 40 minutes. Soak mushrooms for 40 minutes. Discard stems and cut the caps in half. Peel squash, cut into bite-size pieces and finely chop the garlic and onion. Heat oil in large pan and deep-fry the duck for 3-4 minutes. Remove duck and drain thoroughly on kitchen paper. Pour away most of the oil from the pan. Add garlic and onion and saute for 3-4 minutes. Replace the duck and pour in stock and bring to boil. Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer for 90 minutes until duck is almost cooked. Remove lid from pan. Add mushrooms. squash, pickled limes and continue to cook over moderate heat for further 10-15 minutes until duck is tender. Transfer pieces of duck to a serving plate and surround with mushroom and squash. Strain the stock and pour 1 2/3 cups into fresh pan and bring back to boil. Mix cornflour with a small quantity of water. Add this to pan and stir to thicken before pouring sauce over the duck. =

Feather-Back Fish Ball Curry: Ingredients: 1 lb feather-back fish scraped; ½ tablespoons ginger pounded; ¾ tablespoons garlic pounded; 2 tablespoons onion pounded; ½ tablespoons lemon grass sliced finely pounded; ½ tablespoons salt; ¼ tablespoons sugar; ½ tablespoons fish sauce; 1/8 tablespoons turmeric powder; 1 tablespoons chili powder; 1/3 cup oil; ½ cup thick coconut milk; 3 tablespoons tomato puree; ¼ cup coriander leaves cut; 2 cups water. How to cook: Place scraped fish in a bowl. Add half of ginger, garlic, lemon grass, turmeric, chili, salt, sugar and knead fish and press, repeating this several times. With wet fingers take a tablespoon of the fish and make into a ball. Do this until fish is used up. Bring the water to a boil. Place fish balls in water and let boil for 10 minutes. Strain the balls and set aside the water. Cook the oil. When cooked. add the rest of the ginger, garlic, lemon grass, turmeric and chili to oil until light golden. Add the strained fish balls. Add fish sauce. sugar. tomato puree and the water which had been set aside. Add the coconut milk. Keep boiling for 10 minutes. Sprinkle cut coriander leaves. Adjust salt and sugar to taste. Feather-back fish curry is ready to serve. =

Burmese Fish Dishes

With a coastline that is over 2,000 kilometers long, where seas washes the beaches of five states and divisions and teems with luscious lobsters, delicious red snappers, tasty pomfret and chewy squid, you would think Burmese would love seafood. But that is not the case. They prefer fresh water fish harvested from the lakes, chaungs, creeks and fish farms in the Irrawaddy Delta and the Irrawaddy, Chindwin, Myitnge, Sittaung and Thanlwin rivers. A fine fish that is much loved in Myanmar is the nga-gjin (Cirrhina mrigala). Ngakhu and Ngagyi are best to make fish soup for mohinga. Likewise ngabat is best for stir-cooking. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

Nga-gjin is a fish whose bones are easy to remove, thus is the preferred fish for an attractive dish for guests at dinner. On such occasions it is served in the formal si-bjan ("returning oil"), with a lot of oil and condiments to form a gravy. An alternative dish which radically reduces the oil is nga-baun (“steamed fish") with preserved soya bean—a fragrant and tasty dish. A family-style fish served when guests are not present is hsi-zu, where the fish is half fried and then cooked in oil. =

Fish dishes can be made with gravy or are steamed or deep-fried. Occasionally. Sometimes crusts or beaten egg are used to coat the fish or to make fried fish balls or cutlets. For people who like the added flavor of oil in the fish, deep-fried carp or crap clad it in batter is popular. For people who relish the deep scent of wood-smoke, they can cook the fish clamped between split bamboo over a wood-fire. A style with an agrarian touch is the nga-gjin-yei-gjou, using fish caught in the streams that flow through paddy fields and smelling of water enriched by materials roots, bushes and mudflats. =

Fish Cutlets: Ingredients: 750g boiled de-boned fish; 250g mashed potato; 1 teaspoon finely chopped onions; 1 teaspoon green chilies; 1 teaspoon half- ripe tomato; 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic; 1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger. How to cook: Make a coating of rusk crumbs with salt, pepper and lime juice added for taste. Use peanut oil for frying. Mix in mashed potato and all the other ingredients with the boiled fish and leave for ten minutes to marinade. Shape the cutlets by hand into rounds or ovals. Dip in beaten egg and coat with rusk crumbs leave again for five minutes to set the coating. Deep fry golden until brown in hot peanut oil. Drain on kitchen paper and serve. =

Fish in Thin Gravy: Myanmar people find this dish popular because it preserves the natural flavor of the fish. The oil adds to the flavor and does not smother it. Myanmar people love to pour some gravy on the rice and add some fish. Ngapi is added to make it more flavorful. Ingredients: 2 lbs fish fillet (carp. catfish. sheat-fish. shark-head); 2 teaspoon soy sauce; 1/2 teaspoon turmeric; 2 teaspoon chili powder; 1/2 " ginger pounded; 3 onions pounded; 1 teaspoon salt; 2 teaspoon oil; 2 teaspoon tamarind water. How to cook: Marinate the fish with the condiments. Put water in pot until all ingredients covered. Put on fire and boil for 20 minutes or earlier until tender. Take off fire and serve with a garnish of coriander leaf if desired. =

Stir-Cooked Sheet Fish: Ingredients: 800g ngabat; 240g oil; 1 teaspoon Chili powder; 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder; 1.5 centimeters ginger to be pounded; 2 stems citronella to be pounded; 1 teaspoon garlic pounded; 1/4 cup onion pounded; 1 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce; 1 teaspoon salt; 2 cups water. How to cook: Marinate fish with turmeric, salt and fish sauce. Add fish to water in pan and remove when water boils. Debone and set aside. Strain the soup. Fry ginger, onion, garlic, citronella in oil until golden brown. Add chili powder, fish to soup. Put on slow fire. Cover for a while. Then uncover and keep stirring so that the ingredients do not stick until water evaporates and oil remains. Remove from fire. Ready to serve. =

Burmese Soups

Soup is an essential dish in the menu of most nations. Westerners generally take their soup at the beginning of the meal while Chinese take theirs at the end, For most Asians soup is an accompanying dish eaten through out the meal—something to wash down the solid food and provide satisfying and refreshing liquid nourishment. A meal without soup seems dry and unappetizing. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

Hot and Sour Gourd Soup Ingredients: Half a medium sized gourd; Catfish - 2 (or more if preferred) of medium size; (Other fish or raw/dried fish and shrimp may also be used); Fish paste - 2 tablespoons; Fish/shrimp sauce - 2 teaspoons; Onions - 2 bulbs; Chilies - 5 pods; Garlic - 2 bulbs; Turmeric - ½ teaspoon; Groundnut oil -3 ounces; Tamarind - 3 ounces; Salt -to taste. How to cook: Cut the fish into 2 -inch lengths and wash thoroughly. Marinade with salt and turmeric. Pound the dried chilies, onions and garlic together. Wash tamarind thoroughly then soak in a bowl with hot water. Cut the gourd into 2-inch strips and slice not too thinly. Wash and drain. Boil the oil in a pot until it is cooked and then put in the pounded chilies, onion and garlic and fry. When this turns brown put in fish and cut pieces of gourd a little later. Add fish paste dissolved in water. Cover and cook until the gourd is soft. Add tamarind juice and fish sauce and salt to taste. Add about two cups of water. When it has come to the boil after about five minutes the hot and sour soup is ready to serve. =

Sweet Gourd Soup. Ingredients: Gourd - a quarter of a medium sized gourd; Catfish - 2 of medium size. or 5 ounces of raw or dried prawns; Fish paste - 2 ounces; Fish or shrimp sauce - 2 ounces; Pepper - corn - half teaspoon; Garlic - 1 bulb. How to cook: Wash the fish thoroughly and grill. Bone when cooked and set aside. Peel the gourd strips and slice. Dissolve fish paste in water; crush garlic and add half of it together with ground pepper. Mix in the grilled fish with about two cups of water and cook until boiling hot. When ready to serve add the sliced gourd and the remaining amount of crushed garlic and cook for a minute or so. The sliced gourd should not be overcooked. Add more ground pepper if preferred. =

Vermicelli & dried mushrooms soup (Kyarzanchet): Ingredients: 3 pcs garlic; 1 chopped onion; 5 tablespoons fish sauce; 1 tablespoon coloring chilly powder; 1 tea-sp cooking oil; 1 lb chicken; 1/4 lb mushrooms; 1/4 lb sliced fish cake; 3 quartered onions; 1 tea-sp pepper; 1/2 lb bean vermicelli (bean thread); a few green onions. How to cook: Fry the top 5 items for about 2 minutes. Add chicken, mushrooms. fish-cake, quartered onions and 2 quarts of water. Boil for 15 minutes. Add vermicelli and pepper boil for 10 minutes in low heat. Serve in bowls sprinkling green onion. =

Wheat Noodle in Coconut Chicken Soup (Ohnno Kaukswe): Ingredients: 2 lb chicken; 5 teaspoon fish sauce; 1 teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon chily powder; 1 teaspoon oil; 1 piece coconut (50 gm of thick coconut milk); 3 boiled eggs; 1 lb onion; 10 teaspoon pea powder; 3 lb wheat noodle. How to cook: Chop chicken. Boil chicken and chicken bones in 2 quarts of water, Add fish sauce and boil for 15 minutes. Drain out soup to a container so the boiled chicken remains. Throw away chicken bones. Add oil, salt, chilly powder and fry for 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and pea powder. Remix with the chicken soup. Add 2 more quarts of hot water. Add 1/2 lb of quartered onions to soup. Boil for 15 minutes in low heat. =

Noodles in Corn Starch Soup (Kau Yay Kaukswel): Ingredients: Dried Noodles 1 ½ lbs; Chicken (white meat) 2 lbs; Bean sprouts 6 ounces; Celery 2/3 sprigs; Duck/Chicken eggs 3; Corn starch 3 ounces; A dash of pepper; Salt To taste; Soya bean sauce-do; Ginger ½ ounce; Garlic (raw) 5 cloves; Garlic (fried) 5 ounces; Fish paste 5 ounces; Green pepper to taste; Some Lemon. How to cook: Boil chicken together with crushed ginger and raw garlic until tender then remove it and set aside to drain. Then dice the meat. Put back soup on stove and when it boils put in the diced meat together with soybean sauce, pepper and salt. Dissolve corn starch with cold water and add to soup. Beat eggs thoroughly and add to boiling soup. Add noodles to water on the boil and then drain the water with sieve. Boil bean sprouts. Drain water and set aside. Cut the celery into small pieces and put in dish. Roast the fish paste and mix with thoroughly pounded green pepper and juice of lemon. To serve: put noodles in a medium sized bowl. Pour soup over noodles and garnish with bean sprouts and celery. Mix in relish to taste. This recipe can be served to 4 – 6 persons. This is a hot and savoury dish of noodles from Myeik in Tanintharyi Division. =

Young Bamboo Sprout Soup with Dried Shrimps; Ingredients: 3 cups sliced bamboo sprouts or shoots; 1/2 cup powdered dried shrimps; 1 teaspoon salt; 2 teaspoons oil; 1 teaspoon (or to taste) fish sauce; 1 teaspoon shrimp paste; 5 cups water; Large pinch turmeric; A few sprigs Indian basil. How to cook: Buy prepared bamboo and cut in 1/8-inch thick slices, 1 1/2-inch square (Or dig up a pagoda sprout of bamboo when it is 1 inch high, take the most tender parts, soak in water at least 2 days, changing the water several times. Take tender parts only. Rub together and mix: oil, shrimp paste, bamboo slices, turmeric, dried shrimps, salt. and fish sauce. Put into pot with 5 cups water and bring to boil. Let boil 3 to 5 minutes until bamboo is tender, add basil and serve. =

Pumpkin Leaf Soup with Dried Shrimps: Ingredients: 4 cups tender pumpkin leaves: 1 ½ teaspoons salt and stalks: 1/2 cup powdered dried shrimps: 1 small onion: 1/3 teaspoon pepper: 4 garlic cloves: A few sprigs pinsein (Indian Basil): 5 cups water. How to cook: Prepare leaves by breaking off 2 or 3 long sprigs of tender parts only. Use knife to pare off most of hairy sheaths on stems. Wash. Slice onions and crush garlic cloves, slightly, after peeling. Put onion, garlic, water and salt into pot. Bring to boil. Throw in powdered dried shrimps. Let boil 1 to 2 minutes. Add leaves and cook another 1 to 2 minutes until they are tender. Add pepper and then basil. simmer. and serve at once. Basil loses fragrance with cooking. Alternative greens for this recipe: watercress, sweet pea leaf, split-pea leaf, drumstick leaf, chayote leaf, without the basil. =

Burmese Salads

The Burmese word "athoke" is rendered as "salad". However. it is more various and diverse than what is generally understood as salad. There are the fruit salads, leaf salads, fish salads, meat salads, many kinds of noodle salad—and to top it all there is the "rice hand-mixed salad." Athokes are readily available, easy to make at home and loved by all guests. The ingredients of the rice hand-mixed salad are steamed riceoil cooked with a little chili, glass noodles, egg noodles, boiled potatoes, fried bean curd, shredded papaya, fried shredded garlic, roasted pea powder, dried shrimp powder, tamarind liquor, fish sauce, all thoroughly mixed, not tossed, [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

Green Mango Salad: As a mango is sour different agents are used to offset sourness. Shrimp paste, shrimp powder and sesame are used. Ingredients: 4 or 5 green mangoes; 2 tablespoons roasted sesame; 2 medium onions. sliced seeds; 4 green chilies; 3/4 cup fried onions; 1 teaspoon baked shrimp paste; 1 tablespoon (or to taste) fish; 2 tablespoons cooked oil sauce; 3 to 4 tablespoons shrimp powder; Salt as needed. How to make: Peel mangoes and soak in water. Make slivers by holding a mango in one hand and a fine knife in other, cutting off lengthwise pieces. Slice off hacked portion very thinly. Continue. Squeeze slivered mango dry. Cut green chilies finely. Discard the seeds if you wish. Mix baked shrimp paste in small dish with cooked oil until smooth. Into a salad bowl put mangoes. sliced onions. shrimp paste in oil. shrimp powder, green chilies, sesame seeds, half a fried onion and sauce—and mix well. Taste and add salt as needed. Serve dressed with remaining fried onion. Sourness can be further offset by shredding raw cabbage very finely and adding it to the salad. =

Savoury Chicken salad to serve three or four persons. Ingredients: 1 lb chicken cut into thin strips about 1 inch wide and 2 inches long; 1 teaspoon thinly sliced lemon grass; 1 1/2 teaspoon well-pounded parched rice; 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion; 1/2 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves; 4 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice; 3 teaspoon fish sauce; 1/2 cup chopped coriander greens; 1/2 teaspoon ground dried chili; 1 teaspoon chopped spring onion; 1/4 teaspoon sugar; 1 lettuce plant. How to prepare: Grill sliced chicken to medium rare. In a mixing bowl, mix all remaining ingredients well. Add chicken and mix. Serve on a bed of lettuce with spring onions. =

Noodle salad (Kaukswe thot): Ingredients: A packet of noodle; 1 teaspoon fish sauce; ½ teaspoon vinegar; 1 teaspoon chilli powder; a cup of tamarind juice; some salt; some Soybean sauce; 1 cucumber; ¼ of cabbage. Steps to make: Boil 2 cups of water. When the water boils put the packet of dried noodles. Stir and let the noodle cook. When the noodle is ready, pour off the water and let it rinse. Put 2 teaspoons of soybean sauce into the noodles and stir. The soybean sauce makes the noodle colored and give some taste. Peel off the skin of the cucumber and wash. Also wash the cabbage and slice it into small pieces. Preparing the salad: Put some noodles in one bowl. Put in some fish sauce, vinegar, tamarind juice, some salt, some cucumber and some cabbage. If you like spices put some chilli powder too. Stir them nicely and now its ready to serve. These salads are usually served with some gourd soup. =

Vermicelli Salad (Kyarzan Thot); Ingredients: A packet of vermicelli; 1 teaspoon fish sauce; ½ teaspoon vinegar; 1 teaspoon chili powder; a cup of tamarind juice; some salt; some Soybean sauce; ¼ of cabbage; 2 pieces of Tofu. Steps to make: Boil 2 cups of water. When the water boils put in the packet of dried noodles. Stir and let the noodles cook. When the noodles are ready pour off the water and let the noodles rinse. Put 2 teaspoons of soybean sauce into the noodles and stir. The soybean sauce makes the noodles colored and gives them some taste. Wash the cabbage and slice it into small pieces. Fry the tofu and cut into small pieces. Preparing the salad: Put some noodles in a bowl. Put in some fish sauce, vinegar, tamarind juice, some salt, some fried tofu and some cabbage. If you like spices, put in some chilli powder too. Stir them nicely. Ready to serve. =

More Burmese Salads

Mixed salad (Athot Sone): Ingredients: A packet of noodle; A packet of vermicelli; 1 teaspoon fish sauce; ½ teaspoon vinegar; 1 teaspoon chili powder; a cup of tamarind juice; some salt; some Soybean sauce; 1 cucumber ¼ of cabbage; 2 pieces of Tofu; 3 potatoes; 3 eggs; 3 onions; 2 cups of rice. Steps to cook: Boil 2 cups of water. When the water boils put in the packet of dried noodles. Stir and let the noodles cook. When the noodles are ready pour off the water and let the noodles rinse. Put 2 teaspoons of soybean sauce into the noodles and stir. The soybean sauce makes the noodles colored and give them some taste. Peel off the skin of the cucumber and wash. Also wash the cabbage and slice it into small pieces. Boil the potatoes and the eggs. After boiling peel off the potatoes skin and shell the eggs. Then cut into small pieces. Peel of the skins of the onions, cut them into small slices and fried with oil until the color turns red. Cook the rice with the rice cooker and cool it. Preparing the salad: Put some noodles in one bowl. Also put in some rice and vermicelli. Then apply some fish sauce, vinegar, tamarind juice, some salt, some cucumber, some cabbage, potato, eggs and tofu. If you like spices put some chilli powder in too. Stir them nicely. Ready to serve. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

Tomato Salad: Ingredients: Five tomatoes - washed; ¼ cup - sliced garlic; 1 cup - sliced onions; ½ teaspoon - salt; ½ cup - shrimp sauce; 1½ tablespoon - sesame seeds. roasted; ½ cup - crushed pea nuts. roasted; 2 cups - water; 1 cup - oil - for frying garlic and some onions. How to prepare the salad: Wash the tomatoes and then boil in a pot. Switch off the stove after 5 minutes of boiling. Let the tomatoes cool down. Then peel off the skin. The skin will come off easily since the tomatoes are boiled. Put the tomatoes in a bowl. Put in the sliced garlic, sliced onions, salt, shrimp sauce and crushed peanuts and stir them carefully. After stirring. put them into a new bowl and apply the fried garlic, some oil and sesame seeds. =

Potato Salad: Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups potato. boiled and sliced; 4 to 5 tablespoons tamarind; 1 large onion. sliced juice. thick; 3 green chilies; 3 tablespoons cooked oil; 4 sprigs mint; Salt to taste; 2 tablespoons roasted gram flour; 1/2 cup fried onion; How to cook: Slice potatoes to less than 1/4-inch thickness. Soak sliced onion in water. Cut green chilies finely. Shred mint but not too finely. Just before serving mix in a salad bowl the potato, onion, roasted gram flour, thick tamarind juice, oil, chilies and salt. Mix well add half of the fried onion and mint, Mix lightly. Add some salt and dress with remaining fried onion. =

String Bean Salad: Ingredients: 30 - stringbeans - washed; ¼ cup - sliced garlic; ½ cup - sliced onions; ½ teaspoon - salt; ½ cup - shrimp sauce; 1½ tablespoon - sesame seeds. roasted; ½ cup - crushed pea nuts. roasted; 5 cups - water; 1 cup - oil - for frying garlic and some onions. How to prepare: In one cup of oil first fry the garlic until it is slightly golden and strain it. Then fry the onions in the same pan until it is slightly golden and strain it. Boil the 5 cups of water. When it boils put in the string beans for about 7 minutes, drain and immediately immerse in ice water for about 15 minutes. Strain the stringbeans with ice water. Cut into ¾ inch lengths and lightly squeeze out the water. In a separate bowl put in all the cut stringbeans. add 1 tablespoon of oil. salt. shrimp sauce. sesame seeds. sugar powder and sliced fried garlic and marinate. Put into the serving bowl and sprinkle the fried onions. =

Crunchy Cucumber Salad: Ingredients: 7 whole green cucumber; 9 pods garlic cut to small sizes; 5 whole onions cut to small sizes; ½ cup oil; ¼ cup roasted sesame seeds; ½ teaspoon salt; 1 tablespoons sugar; 1½ tablespoons vinegar. Steps to cook: Cut 1½ inches pieces along the length of cucumber. Cut the circular pieces in half. Remove the seeds gently. Cut the halves into thick pieces. Place in sun for half-day. If no sun, air dry in an air-conditioned room. Place cucumber in a bowl. Add salt and marinate for 1½ hours. Then, squeeze out all the water. Place in a muslin cloth and squeeze out remaining water. Rub with the cloth to ensure cucumber is dry. Now add vinegar and sugar and marinate for an hour. Heat up oil. Fry garlic until golden. Remove. Fry onions until golden. Add the garlic and onion to cucumber. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds. Pour some cooked oil. Adjust salt and sugar to taste. The result is a crunchy cucumber salad which vegetarians can enjoy. The procedure can be repeated with white radish. =

Myanmar Snacks

Popular Burmese snacks include pickled tea leaves, fried garlic, toasted sesame seeds, fried beans and palm candy. The Burmese have traditionally snacked a lot because they have traditionally only had two meals a day—one at around 10:00am and another in the mid afternoon—the same schedule monks eat on. [Source: W.E. Garret, National Geographic, March 1971.]

Popular sweets include “sanwin-ma-kin” (sweet cakes and made with semolina, sugar, eggs, butter and coconut), Myanmar-style banana cakes, “kyaukchaw” (seaweed jelly), bags of coconut milk and flavored ice and jaggery.

Myanmar offers a wide variety of snacks. Ones with distinct identities associated with particularly places include: 1) Mawlamyaing form the Irrawaddy Dealta; 2) Dawei Rakhine from the Auk (southern); 3) 'Nangyi Monti (the neo-spaghetti type snack mix) from A-nyar (northern) with its variants made with rice noodle, flour noodles and a special localized concoction. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

Fried vegetable snack: Ingredients: A packet of paste powder; potato; gourd; banana; eggplant; small prawns; some salt oil (You can add as many vegetables as you want.). How to prepare: First we have to make some paste to stick the vegetables in. Put the paste powder in a bowl and pour a little water. Put some salt in too. Stir until all the powder turn into paste. The paste should be a little sticky and not too watery. Peel off the skins off the banana, potato and gourd. Cut them into small pieces and wash. Heat the oil and once it gets hot. put the cut vegetables into the paste and then into the frying pan. Fry these until they turn a bit red. Then it is ready to serve with any tomato or chili sauce. This is a favourite Myanmar snack for the afternoon. It can be serve with some fresh juice or plain tea. =

Wrapped Bananas (Kyauknyintok): Ingredients: 1 ½ cups raw glutinous rice; 1 large or 1 ½ pounds grated coconut; 2 tablespoons sugar; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 15 banana leaves. about 6 square inch each; 4-8 ripe bananas; 2 tablespoons sesame seeds. How to cook: Wash and soak glutinous rice in water overnight. Continue on following day: keeping 1/2 grated coconut aside. Extract coconut cream from the other 1/2 . Keep pure cream separately from milk. Dissolve sugar and 1/2 the salt in diluted coconut milk. Drain rice and soak it in this. Heat banana leaves to make them pliable. After cutting into squares keep small bits of leaf to reinforce inside. OR prepare foil in squares. Peel bananas and cut and slice to get short finger-size pieces. On each leaf or piece of foil, spoon 2 teaspoons rice, together with coconut milk that comes with it. Lay a piece of banana on this with 1 tablespoon of pure coconut cream. Cover with another 2 teaspoons of rice and coconut milk. Wrap into a neat oblong package. Stack oblongs in a steamer. Cover and steam 45 minutes if banana leaves are used and 1 hour if foil is used. Top packet should be opened carefully. The rice should be done (not hard) so it clings together without being gooey; though Burmese prefer it cooked longer and sticky. Heat sesame seeds in dry pan until fragrant and brush or pound them slightly. Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt in rest of grated coconut. Just before serving. unwrap each packet. Lay on a plate. Sprinkle with grated coconut and sesame seeds. =

Floating Rice Balls and Bamboo Sticky Tube

Monte Lone Yay Paw (Rice Dumpling (or) Myanmar Traditional Rice Balls Floating in water): Ingredients: glutinous rice - 800 g; rice - 200g; clean palm sugar - 400g; a medium-sized coconut; a few banana leaves. Monte Lone Yay Paw is mostly made by locals during the Thingyan Water Festival. Throwing water on each other and teasing with rice balls is also another Myanmar Tradition. Some young people stuff chilies inside the rice ball other than the sugar palm. It is fun when someone eats it during Thingyan. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

How to cook: Clean dust. tiny stones and sand from the glutinous rice. Wash the rice in a pot. Then soak with water for about 5 hours. After soaking the glutinous rice for 5hours. the mixture must be thoroughly grounded. Since there are still some more water in the mixture. use a thin cloth to pack it and drain water with some force. Then put a weight on the cloth bag for about another 3 hours. After squeezing all the water out of the mixture. now we can start with making the balls. The brownish sugar palms are cut into small pieces such as the seed of a tamarind. to put inside the rice balls. Now. we can take a small amount of the rice mixture. and role it into the shape of a ball using your 2 palms. Then. press the sugar palm in the middle of the ball and cover it up with the rest of the mixture. Boil some water and then put the balls into the heated water. The balls will sink to the bottom of the pot. When the rice balls are cooked it automatically floats up on the surface of the water. This is the main reason for naming the snack as Monte Lone Yay Paw. It means. the balls floating at the surface of the water. Now. you can collect the floating balls and put onto the banana leaf or on a plate. Cut open a coconut and scramble some of the coconut inside. Then apply it on the rice balls. Now it is ready to serve. =

Bamboo-tube sticky rice (Kauk Nyin Kyidauk) is a favourite seasonal food. There are various types of bamboo in Myanmar. Among them is “ Tin-wa” “ pencil tube bamboo”—used in making bamboo-tube sticky rice. To make it bamboos are cut up by a saw to have hollow bamboo opening with one-joint-end closed. and then cleaned and unsoiled sticky rice, which has been immersed in clean water for four hours. The rice is slowly poured into each piece of hollow bamboo-tube. After each tube is filled up the sticky rice is struck against the ground to become dense. After that the bamboo sticks are placed vertically in a large container. Then each stick is placed one by one vertically across the fire stove to bake. Then, they are baked on open fire using dried leaves and bamboo wastes. =

Fruits, Coconut in Burmese Brain Cake

Myanmar has a wide range of fruits, and most are of tropical origin. However, some notable Western fruits such as strawberries are also popular. Durian, guava, and other fruits are commonly served as desserts. Other fruits include mango, banana, jackfruit, plum, lychee, papaya, pomelo, water melon, pomegranate, mangosteen, sugar-apple and rambutan. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

The coconut is a versatile fruit for the cook in the kitchen. The fibrous outer shell may be used as a scrubber to scour pots and pans, or to provide a quick-burning high heat fuel. The tough inner shell can be used as a mug or fit with a handle to becomes a ladle. It can serve as a receptacle for the waste products or be the house-cat’s dinner dish. =

The coconut water inside the shell makes a refreshing drink and is a good companion to rum. It serves as a rehydration drink for a person suffering from "Delhi belly"—and in case of dire need may be used as injection fluid. The dried flesh of the coconut is copra, which yields coconut oil. The flesh in its natural state provides a delicious snack when taken with a bite of toddy palm sugar or jaggery. It can be sliced or shredded as a garnish. It can form the base for various confections, but it is the coconut cream which is squeezed from the flesh that provides the satisfying flavor to concoctions of all sorts - soups. curries. stews. and an infinite variety of candies and desserts. =

A popular sweet for Myanmar people is Moun Oun Hnauk (brain cake). The odd thing about it is that it contains no animal matter. Ingredients: 3 cups rice flour; 2 coconuts grated; 1/2 cups sugar; 2 tablespoons clear lime water; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 9 cups water. Steps to cook: Squeeze grated coconut to get first water. Set aside. Make coconut milk with 9 cups water. Add corn flour slowly; stir to make batter. Set aside one -third of the batter. Put remaining two - thirds on fire, add lime water. Keep stirring until it boils. Add sugar keep stirring until it thickens and the bottom of pan shows. Pour into a tray and set aside. Take the one-third batter and add first water milk of coconut. Add salt and stir on fire until it too thickens. Pour into tray to get second layer. Bake in oven until surface turns golden. Take out and sprinkle raisins. Now its ready to scoop into serving cups. =

Burmese Desserts

Seaweed Jelly: Ingredients: 2 ounces dry seaweed agar; 2 cups sugar; 2 medium or 1 ½ pounds; Coloring grated coconut. How to cook: Soak agar in water 2 hours ahead so it swells. Grate coconuts. Put grated coconut into a clean wet cloth and squeeze pure cream from it. Keep this pure cream separately. Extract pure coconut milk. Clean the swelled agar. Measure it by cupfuls. Strain diluted coconut into cooking pot, adding water until there are twice as many cups as agar. Add sugar and agar and boil until all agar is dissolved. Set aside about 1/4 of this in a bowl. Add drops of coloring to the remaining mixture and stir them in. Add half coconut cream and pour into shallow dish large enough to fill up to 1 1/2 inches thick only. Let cool. Reheat the 1/4 set aside. Combine with rest of coconut cream and pour onto earlier jelly. Let set well and cut in diamonds [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

Shwe Kyi Pudding: Ingredients: ½ lb shwe kyi; ½ lb sugar; 3 eggs; 1 coconut; ¼ lb margarine. Directions: Scrape the coconut & extract the milk with one cup of hot water. Beat up the eggs and mix all ingredients together. Cook until it thickest. When cooked. place in a dish and bake until brown. =

Silver Rice: Ingredients: 4 cups sticky white rice; 4 ½ cups sugar; 2 cups coconut milk; ½ cup butter; 1/3 cup grated cheese; ½ tsp. salt. How to cook: Soak rice in water for 5 hours. Take out and steam until well-cooked. Take coconut milk and put in pot. Add sugar and salt. Boil until reduced to one-third of original volume. Add butter. Stir thoroughly until a whole lump is formed and bottom of pot is seen. Set aside. Butter a tray. Put rice in tray and make surface even. Sprinkle cheese and make surface smooth again. Put in oven and bake at 150 degrees C until surface is golden. Remove, cool and cut into pieces. Serve. =

Sticky Rice and Htamane (Glutinous Rice Festival)

Sticky rice is not generally eaten as the main component of a complete meal with curry dishes and a soup . In the highlands one may be served rice which is sticky. But this is not the sticky rice of the plains. It is rice which happens to contain a higher percentage of gluten than lowland varieties. Sticky rice in the lowlands is the basis for the creation of various snacks and desserts. A family of three kinds of sticky rice is made into snacks. Steamed sticky rice with peas is one kind. Sticky rice with oil made golden is another. Sticky rice with butter which retains its white color is silver rice. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

The Htamane (glutinous rice) cooking festival is a traditional event in Myanmar that occurs around the Full Moon Day of the lunar month of Tabodwe. which usually falls in late January or early February. During the festival. glutinous rice is crushed and kneaded before it is mixed with other ingredients in huge iron vats using big paddles. The first portion of this delicacy is offered to Lord Buddha and Buddhist monks. while participants in the ceremony and onlookers share what is left over. In some areas of the country a dobat (traditional drum music) troupe performs to encourage the htamane makers. =

Making glutinous rice: The tools required to make glutinous rice include a huge, wide-rimmed iron bowl, two long-handled stirring paddles, three bricks for the makeshift fireplace and firewood. Ingredients: pyis (5 litres) glutinous rice; l viss (1.63 kilograms) peanut oil; I/2 grated coconut; 0.6 viss (I kg) peanuts (without husks); Sliced ginger; Salt. =

Glutinous rice is cleaned and soaked in water for about two hours. Meanwhile, a makeshift fireplace is built by placing the bricks in a triangle on a cleared plot of ground. The firewood is lit under the bricks and the large iron bowl is placed on top. Peanut oil is then poured into the bowl and allowed to heat. The grated coconut is fried in the oil, with care taken not to overcook it. When the coconut is finished it is removed from the bowl and the oil is drained from it. Then peanuts and sliced ginger are fried and the oil is drained from them as well. All the fried ingredients are placed on a plate and set aside. Half the cooking oil used to fry the ingredients is removed from the iron bowl and set aside. The soaked glutinous rice is placed into the iron bowl with the remaining cooking oil. =

At this point. two strong young men wearing loincloths step forward with their paddles and begin kneading, crushing and stirring the htamane with great vigour, encouraged by the shouts and cheers of onlookers. Salt is sprinkled over the rice during this process, which is overseen by the head chef, who directs the men with the paddles to ensure that the rice is well-crushed and the oil and salt are spread throughout the mixture. After about 30 minutes of stirring most of the fried coconut, peanuts and ginger are added to the mix. However, a small amount of the fried ingredients are kept to the side to be sprinkled over the htamane before eating. When the glutinous rice has been thoroughly mixed and cooked, the giant iron bowl is removed from the fire. The big lump of htamane is placed on a wood or metal tray covered with banana leaves that have been rubbed with edible oil, and allowed to cool. Then the delicacy is served on the banana leaves and enjoyed by all. Meanwhile. the festivities are continued by placing the iron bowl back on the fire so that the next team of cooks and stirrers can make a new batch. =

Steamed Rice and Thadingyut

Steamed glutinous rice is well-known as Kauk Hnyin Paung in Myanmar. The seventh lunar month of Thadingyut (October) is a month of many events. It is the time when the southwest monsoon starts to say good-bye to our country after delivering precious showers of rain to our 22 million acres of land under cultivation every year. Thadingyut marks the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the cold season, signaling farmers to prepare themselves for busy days ahead, tending the ripening fields and the harvest of the precious golden crop. Endless stretches of gold touch the far horizons, undulating as the winds kiss their heavy laden grains, justifying the reputation of the wealth of the golden land and its smiling people. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information =]

Autumn is the season when the harvest yields fresh grains of numerous varieties of rice. Farmers used to offer the first crop to the guardian spirits for the bounty and pray for good fortune ahead. Today, special festivals for eating the new harvest are organized by the elders in accompaniment with traditional dances to propitiate the gods and please the community. =

Glutinous rice is the most popular snack: well liked by old and young. There are many ways to prepare snacks from the glutinous rice. There are two main varieties of this rice: white and purple. Among the many concoctions, steamed glutinous rice is the simplest to prepare and delicious to enjoy. It is eaten with a liberal sprinklings of grated white coconut and a dash of sesame salt mix. The side dishes usually include assorted vegetable fries, fried meat, venison and fish, to make it more relishing, and gulped down with steaming hot Shan green tea. Steamed glutinous rice is now also a popular breakfast food. =

Steamed Glutinous Rice: Ingredients: Glutinous rice white or purple 8 measures by condensed milk tin; Brown peas; some sesame; 1/2 spoon of salt. How to cook: Firstly wash the glutinous rice thoroughly and soak it in cold water. Boil the brown peas to the required texture. Fill the lower compartment of the steamer with water and let it boil. Then fix the upper compartment with sieved holes and fill it with soaked rice. When it is partly ready, sprinkle the boiled brown peas over the steaming rice. After a few minutes the steamed rice is ready for serving. In the meantime roast the sesame on a slow fire. Then pound the roasted sesame and a small measure of salt into semi-fine powder. The aroma of sesame heightens the taste. Grate the white coconut kernel into shreds and put it in a separate bowl. To serve, scoop the steaming glutinous rice into individual plates, sprinkle liberally with shredded coconuts and a dash of sesame-salt mix and relish to heart's content. =

Burmese have a predilection for fried delicacies in spite of what health pundits advise to the contrary. A steamed glutinous rice feast will never be deemed complete without these assorted fries. Most popular is the fresh gourd strips dipped in tempura and fried to crisp golden brown texture. Beans, brown peas, sliced onions, Chinese green leaves are also favoured to make such assorted fries. Some choosy epicures who prefer meat may enjoy fried venison. (which are still provided by hunters), fried fish fingerlings or dried salted fish grilled on charcoal fire and shredded. Serves about ten guests. =

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Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, The Irrawaddy, Myanmar Travel Information Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint (Christian Science Monitor), Foreign Policy, burmalibrary.org, burmanet.org, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, NBC News, Fox News and various books and other publications.

Last updated May 2014

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