Myanmar (Burma) Burmese Recipes

Myanmar (Burma) Burmese Recipes

Myanmar (Burma) Burmese curries have the same spices as Indian curries. The unmistakable and different taste of their curries comes from pazun nga-pi, a fermented shrimp paste, and ngapi, fermented fish sauce. Balachuang, a strongly flavored relish made from dried shrimp powder, dried shrimp paste, vinegar, onions, and chili, is Myanmar's favorite condiment, served daily with every meal. All curries are based on a slow-cooked, mellow, dense, sauce of onions, garlic, ginger and turmeric.

Dishes unique to Myanmar (Burma) Burmese are hard to find outside the home. It is unusual for people to eat in restaurants. And the restaurants most of which are in Yangon and Mandalay, serve Indian curries and Chinese noodle dishes, catering to the tastes of foreign visitors. A typical national dish is mohinga, a soupy mixture of noodles and fish that is eaten mainly at breakfast or at lunchtime. An ingredient essential to mohinga is sliced young banana trunk. This dish is served with tiny bowls of hot ground peppers and fresh herbs, such as cilantro, to add as desired. Kaukswe is another national dish, usually based on chicken with rice noodles, enriched with coconut milk. Htamin Lethoke is similar to our composed salads. The separate ingredients, set decoratively on a large platter, always include rice and potatoes. Hingyo is a clear soup, eaten at lunch or dinner.

Several varieties of rice are grown in Myanmar (Burma) Burmese) - polished white rice, blue rice, black rice and gluten or sticky rice used for confectionery. Long-grain rice is preferred. Some kinds absorb less water than others, depending on the variety and the age of the grain: the older the rice, the drier it is. Rivers, steams, and the long coastline yield an abundance of fish and shell-fish, and the Myanmar people have long evolved ways to preserve this bounty for future use. Carp, catfish, eel and butterfish are among the hundreds of varieties of fish caught in Myanmar's teeming rivers. Garden plots in Myanmar have most vegetables similar to those grown in United States, and many unusual kinds, such as water spinach, long beans, winter melon, a long white radish similar to the Japanese daikon, and many kinds of gourds and squashes.

Fruits are plentiful in Myanmar (Burma) Burmese and are eaten frequently as a snack and as a soothing dessert after a meal of hot curries. Bananas, in all their bewildering variety, range from green to red in color, and from finger-sized to a yard long. The huge leaves of the banana plant are used to wrap both savory and sweet foods before steaming or grilling. Slices of the tender trunk are essential to Myanmar's national dish, mohinga. Highly prized, delicate mangosteens, and infamous durians with their atrocious smell and wonderful taste, are grown in the south and shipped to other parts of the country.

Most Myanmar (Burma) Burmese have a very sweet tooth. Cool sweet drinks are prevalent in Myanmar's steamy climate. These are made from jaggery (palm sugar) or pressed sugar cane juice mixed with coconut milk or flavored with essence of rose, mint, or pomegranate. Another essential in the diet, second only to rice, is oil. Peanut and sesame oils are produced on Myanmar's drier plains. Curry is far and away Myanmar (Burma) Burmese's favorite dish, and one of its distinguishing features is the quantity and quality of the peanut or sesame oil used in the dish.

Food plays an important part in Myanmar (Burma) Burmese life, particularly at family celebrations and religious festivals. A typically sumptuous affair is the Sondawgyi festival, the celebration of Buddha's enlightenment. The Myanmar are all great snackers, and at any time of day will patronize food vendors hawking shrimp or peanut fritters, fried pumpkin slices, small meat or fish balls, sweetmeats, fruit, drinks, and crisps.

Myanmar (Burma) Burmese too has its rules of etiquette. At the table it is customary to take only a small serving from one dish at the beginning of a meal. This is mixed with rice and eaten before another dish is tried. When all the dishes have been tested, then it is all right to combine one or two, but never several dishes at the same time. A bowl of hot water, soap, and a towel will be placed nearby for hand washing before the meal. It is still customary to eat with the fingers of the right hand - though soup spoons and forks are sometimes provided. At the end of the meal, hand washing is again dictated by etiquette, if not by necessity.

  1. Chin Hin (Sour Soup)

  2. Soup with Shrimp Balls and Lime

  3. Spiced Lentil Soup

  4. Chicken Curry Noodles

  5. Kyazangi Kaukswe (Rice Noodles with Curry)

  6. Chicken Breasts in Tamarind Sauce

  7. Kyetahir Susie Kyaw (Stir Fried Chicken with Chili)

  8. Curried Fish and Noodle Soup (Mohingha)

  9. Myanmar Chicken Curry

  10. Myanmar Fish Curry

  11. Nga Baung Doke (Fish in Banana Leaves)

  12. Green Beans with Shrimp Sauce

  13. Shrimp Curry with Bean Sprouts

  14. Pebta Kha-O (Tofu and Turnip Saute)

  15. Tofu Stir-Fried with Wild Mushrooms

  16. Burmese Beef and Peanut Curry

  17. Burmese Beef and Pumpkin Curry

  18. Burmese Pork Curry

  19. Pork and Bamboo Shoots in Sauce

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