What is Burmese Food? Which Burmese dishes should you seek out and what sort of flavors and spices might you find in Burmese Food? Burmese Cuisine is mainly an amalgam of cuisines from various regions of Myanmar. Burmese cuisine for the beauty of what it is: an Asian cuisine fused from Southeast Asian, Chinese and Indian influences.
This blog provide shares our favorite Burmese dishes, street food and curries that you'll find in Burma (Myanmar).
Top Burmese Dishes
1. Laphat Thote ( Tea Leaf Salad)
Lahpet thoke, Burmese tea leaf salad or pickled tea salad is a favorite national dish. It is mixed together with some cabbage, fried yellow split peas, fried garlic, some roasted peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, some tomato and dried shrimp. Pickled tea is unique in the region, regarded as the national delicacy that plays a significant role in Burmese society. Lahpet was a pre-colonial symbolic peace offering between warring kingdoms in the history of Myanmar, and is exchanged and consumed after settling a dispute. In both pre-colonial and colonial times, lahpet was served after the civil court judge has made a verdict; if the arbitrators ate the lahpet, this signified formal acceptance of the verdict. Laphet remains a traditional Burmese gesture of hospitality, served to guests when visiting homes.
Mohinga is the traditional breakfast dish. The official national dish of rice vermicelli in a fish-based broth of onions, garlic, ginger, and lemon grass – all topped with sliced banana blossom, boiled eggs and fritters (akyaw). The origins of mohinga are difficult to pinpoint in the absence of extant records. Food processing tools dating to the Pyu city-states used to ferment rice have been discovered, leading to the conclusion that the tradition of making rice vermicelli, the key starch used in mohinga, has a long history.
4. Traditional Burmese Meal
A traditional meal includes steamed rice as the main dish and accompanying dishes called hin (Curry) , including a curried freshwater fish or dried/salted fish dish, a curried meat or poultry dish instead, a light soup called hin gyo (ဟင်းချို), called chinyay hin (ချဉ်ရည်ဟင်း) if sour, and fresh or boiled vegetables to go with a salty dish, almost invariably a curried sauce of pickled fish (ngapi yayjo) in Lower Burma. Fritters such as gourd or onions in batter as well as fish or dried tofu crackers are extra.
Out of respect, the eldest diners are always served first before the rest join in; even when the elders are absent, the first morsel of rice from the pot is scooped and put aside as an act of respect to one's parents, a custom known as u cha (ဦးချ, lit. first serve).
5 . Nan Gyi Thoke
Nan gyi thoke (Burmese: နန်းကြီးသုပ်, also spelt nangyi thoke) is an a thoke salad dish in Burmese cuisine, made with thick round rice noodles mixed with specially prepared chicken curry and chili oil. The dish is garnished with toasted chickpea flour, sliced onions, chilis, crispy noodles, slices of hard-boiled egg, fish cakes, and zested with lime or lemon. The noodle salad originated as a street food from Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma).
7 . Chapatis and Curry in Mandalay
This chapati stand needs no name; everyone in Mandalay knows it. It’s difficult to decide which facet of the chapati production line impresses the most: the women rolling the dough or the guys tossing and frying the chapatis. And the taste is no slouch either. To give your chapati some company, opt for a dose of meat or veg curry from giant cauldrons. Chapati is an unleavened flatbread (also known as roti) from the Indian subcontinent. Chapatis are made from a firm dough and water. Chapatis were also introduced to other parts of the world by immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, particularly by Ancient Indian merchants to Central Asia, Southeast Asia, East Africa, and the Caribbean islands.