The best way to a country’s heart is through its food. Used elsewhere, in entirely different connotations, this maxim rings true for Myanmar travel as well. The reason is that Burmese cuisine is infused with flavors fromThailand, India, and China. The best thing about Myanmar is that most of its food can be tasted on its streets.
Rice is a staple in most of Southeast Asia, and Myanmar is no different. The Burmese experience of eating rice includes sitting on the floor and enjoying curried dishes, sautéed vegetables and stewed meats. It is followed by green tea and jaggery. Visit any traditional restaurant in West Shwegondaing, Yangon.
This could easily be Myanmar’s national dish. Mohinga refers to very fine and round noodles, served in a fish-and-shallot broth. It is accompanied by crunchy banana pith, and is a common sight on the country’s streets. A popular breakfast in Myanmar, Mohinga is also served with egg slices, deep-fried vegetables.
‘Dry’ noodle dishes, too, are popular in Myanmar. NangyiThoke is essentially noodle salad, accompanied by traditional broth. It ranks high up in Myanmar travel foods, and is found everywhere you go. Side-dishes that go with NangyiThoke include boiled bean sprouts, hard boiled eggs, and fish cake slices.
Together known as ‘moun,’ these are not eaten as a dessert but light morning or noon snacks. The Burmese have a sweet tooth, and you can enjoy these sweet snacks at any tea shop. Some popular variants are hsanwin ma kin, beinmoun and pancakes. They aren’t packed with sugar, but get their flavors from coconut milk, grated coconut and tapioca.
Curry is central in traditional Burmese cuisine, and several varieties are found in the local restaurants of Myanmar. It is accompanied by tangy sauces and eclectic mix of other condiments. Visit a Muslim-run curry joint to savor root vegetables and lentils with crispy pappadum with your curry.
Shan noodle soup
A specialty in the Shan region, this dish consists of flat noodles in a savory broth. This is accompanied by pork or shredded chicken, and a toasted sesame sprinkling. The servings are small and it is served like a salad, without a soup. Ask the travel agency to include a visit to Kalaw, which has some good places to have Shan noodle soup.
With both Indian (chickpeas) and Chinese (tohu) influences, Fried tohu is a truly Asian dish. The thick-sliced tohu is pan-fried to get a juicy centre. Also known as TohuThoke, this dish is served with toasted peanuts, sesame seeds, and dried shrimp.
Myanmar is famous for its tea culture, and at street-side shops, you can have quick meals and snacks. Both locals and foreigners throng tea shops to have different kinds of teas. You can either have samosas and pooris or meaty buns with the tea.
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