What are some good Burmese dishes

Myanmar food & cuisine

Eating and drinking in magical Myanmar

Myanmar's cuisine is very diverse and regionally influenced by the neighboring countries China, Thailand and India. As in many Asian countries, one thing should not be missing: the fish paste. It can be found in almost every meal and can also be tasted. So if you don't like fish, you will have to be prepared for long discussions about food orders.

The Myanmares and Asians generally salt their food with fish paste or fish sauce. If you cancel this, it would be tantamount to canceling salt in Germany and that is completely incomprehensible to most cooks. Another important part of Myanmar cuisine is rice and rice noodles. The rice noodles are quite tasteless and a healthier alternative to our dough noodles.

The Myanmar people already eat a fish soup for breakfast, the national dish of Myanmar: Mohinga. The hearty soup is prepared with rice noodles, onions, garlic and chillies. For German tastes, breakfast takes a bit of getting used to. Most hotels also offer western alternatives.

Typical ingredients and dishes of Burmese cuisine

As in most Asian countries, rice forms the basis of almost every meal in Myanmar. In combination with chicken, mutton, fish, prawns or a wide variety of vegetables, delicious dishes typical of the country are created. When preparing and seasoning dishes in Burma, care is always taken to ensure that the main flavors - salty, spicy, sweet and sour - are in a good balance. This is what defines the special, exotic taste of Asian cuisine. Curry, garlic, ginger, salt and turmeric are among the preferred spices for food in Myanmar. Shrimp paste or peanut oil are also very popular for a strong aroma. Onions are also a popular ingredient in Burmese dishes.

Typical of the food in Myanmar are the different variants of curries, which are influenced by those in India and Thailand, but are usually less spicy. In addition to curry powder, turmeric, coconut or cinnamon are used for seasoning.

There is also a variety of soups, ranging from light, clear fish soups to spicy noodle soups and creamy vegetable soups. Salads made from raw or briefly cooked vegetables can also be found as an accompaniment to almost every meal. The dips are mostly based on fish or shrimp pastes. In general, the typical food in Myanmar consists of several small dishes that complement each other in a delicious way. During your Myanmar trip you will be surprised at the variety of Burmese food. We have listed below for you which dishes you should definitely try during your vacation.

Anytime it's tea time in Myanmar

An important tradition in Myanmar is tea drinking in tea rooms, which is not to be missed! In Myanmar there are inconspicuous teahouses on every corner and they are always packed, but they are only open until noon or afternoon. In Myanmar, the different tea traditions of neighboring countries are mixed up. In every restaurant, including street food stands and in every tea room, there is free green tea, which is in a pot on the table and which you can pour yourself into the small cups provided at any time. However, you have to pay for the Myanmar milk tea, which is related to Indian chai.

This tea is incredibly sweet and creamy, the spoon is almost in the cup, but the Myanmarians love it so much. The milk tea consists of very strong, black tea and a lot of sweetened condensed milk - in most cases there is also additional sugar in the tea. There are also all kinds of snacks in the tea rooms. From Indian samosas, deep-fried dumplings mostly filled with vegetables, to French toast, there are many small delicacies. The Myanmar French toast is only called “toast with egg and sugar” if you want to order it. Usually there is condensed milk baked in egg with toast sprinkled with sugar. So anyone who leaves a Myanmar tea room without a sugar shock has done something wrong.

The tea rooms are almost exclusively visited by men and as a European tourist you are immediately noticed, but are treated extremely courteously, as everywhere in Myanmar. There are usually no menus or drinks, so you have to ask about everything or the food is put on the table and you pay for what you eat. But don't worry, everything is very cheap in these tea rooms. On average, you pay around 2-3 euros for two milk teas and two French toast. By the way, you make every Myanmar a great pleasure if you invite them over for tea if you don't manage to be invited yourself. For the Myanmares this is a matter of honor. Such a tea room is definitely an experience!

In Myanmar it is customary to sit on the floor and eat at a low table. The Myanmar people do not use cutlery but use their hands to eat. If you want to try this out, you should definitely note the following: Only eat with your right hand, as this is the clean hand. The left hand is considered unclean (because it is used to clean after using the toilet). Anyone who eats with it or holds out a handshake will arouse disgust in Myanmar and most other Asians.

Food Myanmar - The Top 10 Foods in the Country

1. Mohinga - Burma's national dish

You will hardly come across this dish on your Myanmar trip: Mohinga, the national dish of Burma. This is a fish noodle soup that is often eaten for breakfast. A little strange to us, but you can also enjoy Mohinga at all other times of the day on the streets in the food stalls and teahouses. Depending on the region, there are different recipe variants of this typical soup. However, the main ingredient is always fresh fish and thin vermicelli or rice noodles. Mohinga is seasoned with different herbs and flavors as well as garlic, ginger and lemongrass. A delicious snack between meals.

2. Pyin oo Lwin - Hot pork pot

The classic on the streets of Myanmar is Pyin oo Lwin, which means something like "hot pot with pig organs". And that's exactly what it is: A pot of boiling hot water on the side of which there are chopsticks on which various parts and organs of the pig are impaled. You basically eat it like a fondue. The skewers are placed in the pot to warm the meat. Then it is dipped in hot sauce and enjoyed. If you want, you can order noodles with it. The dish is considered very inexpensive and is often served in Burma's cookshops.

3. Lahpet Thoke - Tea leaf salad

If you love to eat salad, Myanmar is the place to be. A special dish is the Lahpet Thoke, the traditional tea leaf salad. The delicious and refreshing dish is a sophisticated mix of tea leaves, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, beans and roasted peanuts. Let's refine the whole thing with oil, garlic, salt and lemon. Often there are also salads with shrimp or sesame. Lahpet Thoke also has a deep cultural meaning in Burma, as the salad is considered a symbol of peace. Traditionally, it was originally always eaten for reconciliation after a quarrel.

4. Shan noodles - sticky rice noodles

A typical dish from the Shan region in eastern Myanmar, which borders China. The Shan noodles are sticky rice noodles. It is available as a side dish in soups or in a thicker form in salads. Chicken, tomatoes or chickpeas are often served with the noodles. The dish is rounded off with garlic, soy or chilli sauce, as well as peanuts or spring onions.

This light and spicy dish based on shrimp and tomatoes is particularly popular in the coastal regions of Myanmar. Many fresh ingredients such as shallots, chilli, ginger and garlic give this delicious dish a special kick.

6.  Street barbeque in Myanmar

During your stay in Burma, we recommend that you visit one of the many barbecue stands on the roadside. Many of them can be found in the Yangon area. Here you sit by the fire in an extraordinary atmosphere and you can choose your own meat or fish, which is then freshly prepared on the smoking grill. An impressive culinary experience not to be missed.

7. Sticky Rice - Sticky rice

Rice dishes are one of the top dishes in Myanmar. Countless specialties can be conjured up especially from sticky rice. In Burma there are also sticky rice balls that are mixed with meat or fish or both as a specialty. A delicious snack or a tasty snack.

8. The tropical fruits of Myanmar

Healthy and tasty snacks are also the diverse tropical fruits that the country has to offer. You can find fresh, juicy watermelons and mangoes, delicious lychees, coconuts, pineapples, bananas or papayas on almost every street corner.

9. Falooda - Ice cream with rose syrup

The most popular dessert in Burma is an ice cold falooda. It consists of ice cream with jelly and rose syrup, basil, milk and basil. A wonderful cool refreshment.

10.  Cuppa tea - Chai tea

Last but not least, tea is on the top 10 list as the most popular drink in Myanmar. In the many teahouses in the country people meet to chat and enjoy chai tea or black tea.

A few tips at the end

Myanmar is a very poor country that has not been open to tourism for long. This means that the hygiene is nowhere near the European standard. The usual rules apply: only eat what has been cooked through, do not consume tap water. Only eat fruit and vegetables peeled. In addition, the experiences of numerous travelers confirm: Food stalls and street food stands, as well as teahouses, which are well frequented by locals, are always a good address, no matter how it looks there. Expensive tourist restaurants, in which only a few foreigners sit, should be viewed with skepticism. Stomach upsets are not uncommon in such countries, but they are usually forgotten after two days.

The prices for food and snacks are very cheap, so try everything!

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