Burmese cuisine is without a doubt one of the most underrated cuisines in the world. It boasts delicious flavours that are sure to get your taste buds buzzing, so keep reading to find out more about the history of this cuisine, how it’s made and where you can get your hands on this delectable Burmese treat.
An amalgamation of tastes
This style of cooking, which originated in Myanmar, was heavily influenced by the cuisine of neighbouring countries including Thailand, India and China. Generally, there are two types of foods that are created in Burmese cuisine. The first is common in inland regions including Upper Myanmar and the hilly regions that surround it. These dishes are characterised by the heavy use of meat, poultry and a combination of spices. Seafood is also eaten but is often preserved by being fermented, salted or ground into a paste. The second style of this cuisine can be found in coastal regions. As you would expect, meals that are created there rely heavily on the use of seafood. In Myanmar, meals are typically eaten at a low table surrounded by bamboo. All dishes are served simultaneously and diners are encouraged to eat family-style. Although you may find a few spoons on the table, it’s unlikely you’ll see any other cutlery. This is due to the local custom whereby people scoop up their food with their right hand.
The making of a Burmese feast
Burmese cuisine is characterised by an abundance of dishes. At any Burmese meal, you are likely to find several different types of food prepared in a unique manner. One of the most popular dishes is called Tea Leaf Salad. This is made by mixing slightly bitter tea leaves with cabbage, sliced tomatoes, nuts and peas. Another popular option is Shahn-style tofu noodles. Surprisingly, this dish does not contain any tofu. Instead, grains are cooked into a thick, gummy consistency which is then allowed to set before being sliced into cubes, fried and added to a delicately spiced noodle dish. Mohinga is another popular Burmese dish. Thick round rice noodles are cooked in a fragrant herb-rich broth and finished with the pith from banana trees.
Accentuate the flavours and round off your meal
If you would like the full Burmese cuisine experience, then you need to have a bowl of steamed rice with your meal. This is a staple in most Burmese homes and acts as the perfect vehicle for saucy dishes. It’s also a great way to calm the heat in your mouth after enjoying a particularly spicy Burmese curry. Wash all of this down with a cup of tea sweetened with a little palm sugar.
The best places to treat yourself
You can enjoy Burmese cuisine in the comfort of your own home or in a trendy little restaurant. Head over to Inle Myanmar for a bowl of Mohinga or Myanmar curry chicken noodles.