Heading to Myanmar soon? Or just curious about the different culinary delights of Southeast Asia? While the Indochina region may appear small and clustered, each country has hundreds of cultural groups and specialities- especially when it comes to food. We have collected some of the must-eats in Myanmar, in hopes that you will come to visit and try Burmese cuisine for yourself!. We’re sure this list isn’t complete, and we welcome you to discover what these dishes have to offer in Myanmar.
One of Myanmar’s culinary specialties is called lahpet – fermented tea leaves. These tea leaves are used to make tea leaf salad, or they can be eaten with rice. Another unique variation of tea leaf salad is sour tea leaves mixed with cabbage, tomatoes, garlic oil and chili garlic- the mix of these ingredients are difficult not to enjoy! However, bear in mind that tea leaves do contain caffeine even when cooked, so for those who prefer a good night’s sleep- do not eat too much of this dish!
Shan noodles are part of a typical dish of the Shan ethnic people in northern Myanmar. The dish is an extremely perfect combination of chicken, marinated pork and thin noodles, flavoured by garlic, broth and pickled vegetables. Perhaps it is the strange and delicious taste, or the eye-catching appearance- or all of the above- that make Shan noodles many tourists’ favourite meal in Myanmar.
Mohinga Fish Vermicelli
Mohinga fish noodles is a type of vermicelli cooked in fish-flavored broth. The recipe for this Burmese dish isn’t particularly fussy; the main ingredients for cooking include roasted rice, chickpea powder, and cooked catfish along with a variety of taste buds. This dish is quite popular in all parts of the country. Mohinga fish is a street food that you should not ignore while in Myanmar!
Nan Gyi Thohk
Nan Gyi Thohk is an interesting Burmese dish. The dish consists of mixed rice noodles with a special chicken curry, and it is served with broth. Diners can choose to squeeze more lemon to enhance the tartness of the meal. For many people who have never seen Nan Gyi Thohk before, they will think that the dish looks like a version of Myanmar spaghetti.
Tofu Shan Noodles
Another variation of Shan noodles is mentioned in this article. Shan noodles are not only favored by Myanmar people but also by first-time tourists. Tofu in Myanmar has a special feature that is made from the yellow mausoleum that green beans, unlike the fermented soy beans that we often eat. Shan noodles tofu can be eaten in 3 ways: with yellow noodles, hot in a soup bowl, or cold with mannequin.
Other foods: Deep-fried dishes and desserts
In Myanmar, people have a strong passion for food “flooded with grease.” So, fried cakes in Burmese cuisine have become extremely popular throughout Myanmar streets. Most cakes in Myanmar are made from glutinous rice flour or rice flour, sometimes a combination of both. The powder will be mixed with pureed onion, garlic or ginger. The accompanying seasoning will create an irresistible aroma when fried in an oil pan.
In Myanmar, sweet sweets are called “muon”. They also do not use desserts like in Western countries but use them to make a snack with a cup of tea every morning to start the day. Desserts or snacks in Burmese cuisine are not sweet from pure sugar, but from other delicious natural ingredients such as coconut milk, shredded coconut, fruit, and more.
Tea shops in Myanmar are also a great place for visitors to learn and immerse in this traditional dish. There are many different salty pastries available at any tea shop so you can savor and enjoy it with hot tea. Depending on each shop, different cakes will be served. For example, if the shop has a Chinese owner, he will serve dumplings or baked goods. As for Indian owners, the restaurant will serve breads with potatoes, salty fried bread or toast.
Burmese curry will definitely be an interesting culinary experience for you when enjoying this traditional dish. The main ingredients of the dish include curry along with a multitude of side dishes that you can choose from such as beef, pork, seafood or lamb. Those on a meat-free diet will enjoy Burmese curry with green vegetables, salad or beans.
Shan Rice has another specific name which is Nga Htamin. Enjoying this dish is really a perfect choice for visitors to Myanmar. Looking at the rice plate, you will see the fragrant rice balls cooked with the golden turmeric. Besides, there is a piece of fish that is spread with garlic oil with a fragrant aroma that is hard to resist. This dish is also extremely suitable for those who like to eat spicy when there are spices like chili, garlic, pepper.
Feeling a bit more ready to dive into Burmese cuisine and try these must-eats in Myanmar for yourself, with Discovery Indochina? We have plenty of set tour packages exploring the country, from Yangon to the Bagan plains, or you can contact us if you would like something a bit more customized to your interests.