Myanmar Traditional Foods
Want to try tasty foods of Myanmar? Here are the top Myanmar traditional foods you should try when you travel in our country. Spend your vacation at Myanmar and enjoy these delicious foods and snacks. Most of the varieties can also be called Myanmar Street Foods as they can also be found easily almost everywhere on the street and night markets.
Myanmar is one of the few countries where tea leaves are not only to be drunk, but also eaten. Pickled tea leaf is a national favorite and this salad is often served at celebrations or ceremonies as a snack or dessert or appetizer. This is the most popular Myanmar food in everyday life of Burmese people. The dish is usually prepared by mixing the sour, slightly bitter leaves, shredded cabbage, sliced tomatoes, nuts and peas.
No conversation about Myanmar food is completed without mentioning Mohinga. Mohinga is native to southern Myanmar where fresh fishes are easily available. The preparation style is varied in different region. The reason is on the availability of certain ingredients depending on the region or local preference. However the basis ingredients of the traditional recipes remains the same – that are prepared with chickpea and or rice flour, garlic, onion, lemongrass, ginger and of course fresh fish cooked in the broth, often supplemented with the crunchy pith of the banana and mainly served at breakfast. However it is sold throughout the day at restaurants, tea shops and street vendors.
Ohn Noe Khao Swe is one of the Myanmar’s favorite breakfast foods like Mohinga. Myanmar Coconut noodle has its own different style. The broth is cooked with coconut milk and curried chicken and then prepared by putting the wheat noodles in the soup with heard boiled egg, crisp noodles, sliced onions and chili power. Some adds lime or lemon juice or fish sauce. You can find coconut noodle almost everywhere at teahouse and street vendors in town.
Kaut Nyin Paung is mostly served for the breakfast or sometime at the tea time in the afternoon. It is usually steamed with a special cooker in Shan state, while the Myanmar people seem to cook it just like the normal rice. Steamed black and white glutinous rice has firmer texture and of course more delicious, while the cooked one is soft. It is usually prepared the black and white mixture of sticky rice with sesame powder, salt and coconut. Do we cook it at home? Rarely. We just buy them from street vendors.
Nan Gyi Thoke, often called the spaghetti of Myanmar is another popular breakfast food. However, it is available from morning till afternoon as some people eats regardless of the time. The dish is prepared by mixing curried chicken and the rice noodle adding onion, scallions and par-boiled bean sprout as individual’s preference. It is very delicious.
It was called “Nga Htamin” (fish rice) in Burmese. It is originally from Shan State and the Shan cuisines are popular in our country. The recipe is prepared with rice cooked with turmeric and then mixed curried fish, some adding home-made tomato paste. This dish is served with leek roots, cloves of raw garlic, fried pork rinds and fried chili. Yummy!
Shan noodles are one of the most popular dishes in Myanmar. You will find them in every teahouse and restaurant. You can have them either as a soup or as a salad and in both dishes the sauce is the same. The noodles are different. The dish is the combination of thin, flat rice noodles in a clear, peppery broth with marinated chicken or pork, garnished with toasted sesame and garlic oil. It’s served with a slide of pickled vegetables. Compare with other noodle dishes, it is relatively simple and consistently delicious. A “Dry Version” with the broth served on the side, is also common.
One of the most famous breakfast dishes in Myanmar is Tofu Noodles also known as To-Fu-Nwae (Warm Tofu). It is one of the popular dishes of Northern Shan State Myanmar. The dish does not actually include much tofu just covered liquid of tofu, but rather a thick porridge made from chickpea flour. The sticky yellow material is served in thin rice noodles, chunks of marinated pork or chicken. It is covered with a layer of chili oil and includes parts of pickled vegetables and broth.
It is a specialty of the Eastern Shan State Myamar prepared rice noodles with a meat sauce. Two main types, the normal Mogok Mee Shay and the Mandalay version, are most famous varieties as the preparation is a bit different depending on region and available everywhere. The meat sauce is mainly made with pork or chicken. Mandalay Mee Shay uses medium rice noodles and has a thicker, oilier meat sauce. Toasted chickpea flour is added to give a thicker mixture. It is garnished with balanced bean sprouts and crisp fried garlic.
“Thoke” means salad, but the definition is not limited to a bowl of lettuce and tomatoes. Wheat noodles are tossed with dried shrimp, boiled potato, fried tofu, shredded cabbage, and carrots before being dressed with fried peanut oil, chilies, fish sauce, coriander, and lime. A pickled mustard greens broth, sour and fermented, often comes on the side to balance the flavors.
The local set-meal is not just comfort food but an experience in itself. It comes with slightly oily curries (choices from chicken, fish, mutton, beef, vegetable or pork), rice, a bowl of lentil soup and six vegetable side dishes (expect to find potatoes, pumpkin, okra, broad beans, leafy vegetables, tomato salad, etc.) and a garlic chili dip. The variety of side dishes and spice levels may differ from place to place but this culinary experience remains the same.
Myanmar is well known with different ethnics, different traditional food. Rakhine Mote Ti is the traditional food of Rakhine State in the western part of Myanmar. Most people usually have this in the afternoon and evening. It is similarity with Mohinga but the taste is slightly different with the feeling of sour, spicy or some combination of three. The ingredients are thin rice vermicelli, fresh fish , ngapi (shrimp/fish paste), lemongrass, pepper, garlic, green chili paste, red chili sauce, crisp garlic garnish and coriander. You can try with two different style; one is salad with the taste of sour, spicy and salt and another style is trying thin rice vermicelli with the fish soup. You can get it spicier by combining some chili paste, tamarind liquid and fish paste liquid. Mote Ti is available not only in some tea shops but also in some stalls as a street food in down town Yangon, Mandalay and other cities also.