10 Myanmar Food You Must Try
by Jaycee Jung
Myanmar is emerging as Southeast Asia’s new sought-after tourist destination. Tourists can start to expect more undiscovered places open for visiting as the nation slowly reveals its hidden gems to the world. The stunning pagodas are only the beginning, as there are also breathtaking nature, exotic ethnic groups, colourful festivals, and of course, Myanmar food.
The food in Myanmar did not get the recognition they deserve, but tourists who have tasted the flavours of Myanmar agree that the nation’s trump card lies in its food. The culinary adventure in Myanmar is like no other experience that tourists can find in other countries. There are Indian and Chinese influences in the food, and along with a Myanmar twist, tourists often find themselves at awe with the distinctive and authentic flavours that intrigue their palate.
Eating Myanmar food is not just about tasting the flavours, but the warmth and effort put into every dish that is made with skills passed down for generations.
Known as Tea Leaf Salad, this Myanmar dish is a famous appetizer and snack made of Pennywort leaves. The slight tinge of bitterness goes well with a special tangy local sauce made of tomatoes, cabbage, lime and sweet sauce, added with a sprinkle of nuts. Tourists love going back to this dish after a long food hunt to cleanse their palate.
This dish is the go-to breakfast meal of locals. Rice noodles and fish broth may sound like an odd combination at first, but tourists who have tasted this dish are immediately taken in by the fragrant taste of chickpeas, turmeric and lemongrass. Some even prefer adding chilli into their noodles for a spicy kick.
Fried Chickpea Tofu
Vegetarians will love this snack. Chickpea tofu is usually deep-fried until it is crispy on the outside and soft and chewy inside to provide a pleasant texture. Tourists will taste a match made in heaven when they dip the snack into a special sweet ad spicy sauce that goes perfectly with the mild flavours of the chickpea tofu.
Originating from Shan State, this rice noodle dish can be eaten with two ways. The first method is to have the noodles with chicken, tomato paste, turmeric and peanuts. This dry version is sour and savoury coupled with a nutty flavour. This is definitely not your typical flavour that can be found everywhere; in fact, this dish has made quite a name for itself for its bold taste. For the soup version, this dish is usually paired with warm clear broth and chickpea tofu.
Mont Lin Ma Yar
This quail egg snack is fondly known as the couple snack by the locals. Two sides of rice flour batter containing quail eggs, spring onions, spices and chickpeas are attached together, giving the snack its nickname. This simple snack only gets more addictive with every bite.
Tourists will enjoy the hot and delicious little pancakes made upon order by friendly vendors. There are sweet and also savoury flavours, and the small size gives travellers the opportunity to try several flavours in a go. Tourists who have tried this snack love the crispy sides and chewy and fluffy texture. Eggs and nuts can also be added to upgrade the taste.
This is another famous Shan dish that is widely loved by locals and tourists alike. This fish rice dish is shaped into a ball of rice. The rice is usually yellow due to the turmeric used and the overall taste of this dish is an uncommon one. The oily texture of the rice ball is balanced with stir-fried vegetables and meat, topped off with fish meat and a hearty amount of fragrant garlic oil.
Chicken Feet Salad
This dish is delicious and also contains health benefits; it is rich in collagen. Chicken feet salad in Myanmar is different than the ones in other countries. The Myanmar way of making this dish requires a lot of sesame seeds, lemon, vinegar, brown sugar sand soy sauce, which is why tourists should definitely give it a try. The springy texture also adds to the unusual taste of this chicken feet salad dish in Myanmar.
This is one of Myanmar’s best dry noodle dishes. Unlike the usual thin rice noodles in common dishes, the noodles of Nangyi Thoke are thick. The dish is then paired with pieces of chicken and fish cakes, refreshing bean sprouts and hard-boiled eggs. Tourists who love spicy food can also opt to add chilli oil into this dish.
This meal is popular in the rural areas of Myanmar. Hnyin Htoe is traditionally served on banana leaves. The steamed rice, onions and cabbage are wrapped and tied into a parcel-like package. The aroma of these steamed ingredients will make your mouth water, and it tastes even better when it is fried with turmeric and chilli.
Tourists will have a new adventure to look forward to. Food-hunting in Myanmar is just as fun as any of the excursions and adventures, as travellers explore the culture and tradition of the food of Myanmar and end each food journey with happy bellies.