Located in the northwestern India Peninsula, Myanmar has been called the “emerging spotlight” of Asia tourism. Not only its people, culture and landscapes but even its cuisine also draws the attention of the large number of tourists. Although the culinary cultures of India, China, Thailand and many ethnic minorities have effects on Myanmar’s cuisine, its cuisine still has its own characteristics.
Laphet, nga htamin, Burmese curry are some specialties not to be missed when travelling Myanmar.
1. Lephet /laphet (tea leaf salad)
Lephet is a Myanmar traditional fermented tea leaf, used as a desert and it also is cooked as a tea leaf salad. This tea leaf salad is made from sour and slightly bitter tea leaves mixed with cabbage, tomatoes and roasted beans, peppers and garlic. However, the Myanmar people recommend tourists that like drinking too much cups of tea, if eating too much lephet, travelers may get difficulty falling sleep.
2. Nga htamin (Shan-style rice)
Nga htamin, meaning rice with fish in the dialect of Myanmar, is one of the perfect choice for tourists traveling Myanmar. It is a dish of the Shan, consisting of rice cooked with turmeric, mixed with squeezed fresh water fish and garlic oil. This dish is served with leek root, raw garlic and fried crispy pork skin. Nga htamin is a good choice for those who love spicy foods.
3. Myanmar curry (Burmese curry)
For this dish, curries are made from beef, fish, shrimp, pork or lamb. Burmese curry is served with countless dishes including rice, salad, fried vegetables, soups, raw vegetables and a variety of different sauces. At the curry shop selling for Muslims, Myanmar curry is served with salad, beans, green vegetables and so on. One exciting thing travelers will be received when enjoying this dish is that the traditional Myanmar desserts – pickled leaves and nuts contained in a lacquer tray will be added to their dish for free.
4. Dishes served in tea house
Myanmar tea houses are ideal places not only for drinking tea but for enjoying the traditional dishes of this country as well. Besides Myanmar’s traditional foods, the sweet and savory cakes are available in all tea houses in Myanmar to sip with hot tea. Drinking tea and enjoying the cake is a culinary characteristic of the Burmese culinary culture.
5. Shan-style noodles
This specialty of the Shan ethnic people in northern Myanmar is a perfect combination of thin noodles and chicken, marinated pork, roasted sesame and garlics, served with pickles and broth. Thanks to its special taste and eye-catching look, this noodle is listed in the top choice of many tourists when enjoying Myanmar’s dishes.
Mohinga is widely considered as a Myanmar specialty- the great combination of vermicelli and fish soup. In big cities, hundreds of Mohinga noodles are sold each day for the locals and passers-by by hawkers and roadside vendors. Chickpea flour, roasted rice, fish cooked in broth and many spices such as garlic, onion, ginger, fish sauce, lemongrass are the main ingredients of Mohinga. This dish is very popular in many regions of Myanmar as towns and cities.
7. Nangyi thoke
Nangyi thoke- this Burmese dish consists of rice noodle mixed with a special chicken curry and broth. This dish is compared as the spaghetti of Myanmar version.
8. Shan style “tofu” noodles
The Shan is an ethnic group living in northern Myanmar. Their cuisine is a favorite of both domestic tourists and foreign travelers. The large tofu blocks are always outstanding in Shan food stalls. In steading of fermented soybeans as regular way, the tofu is made from yellow lentils and green beans. It makes the tofu become distinctive. Slices of tofu are usually served with yellow noodles or hot soup.
9. Deep-fried stuff
The Burmese has a special passion with deep-fried foods; therefore, it is the most popular dish selling in Myanmar’s streets with plenty of sizes and shapes. Crispy donuts with special flavor are served with a sweet and sour sauce made from tamarind. It makes an irresistible attraction for travelers.
10. Sweet snacks
Myanmar sweets are called as “muon”, used as a snack served with tea in the morning and afternoon. “Muon” is not too much sugar. Its sweet taste is taken from other materials as coconut fiber, coconut milk, rice flour, fruits and so on. These sweet snacks become an indispensable appetite for tourists.