One of the essential parts of a trip to Burma would be to indulge in Burmese cuisine. As all travel geeks are food lovers as well, Burma can satisfy your food curiosity. Food in Burma is inexpensive and accessible. Moreover, there is a wide range to choose from. And when I say wide, I mean wide!
Similar to other countries in Asia, the Burmese food is eaten on a low table. They don’t use chairs and just usually sit on a mat. Some restaurants in Myanmar practice this set up while some don’t. So, what should you expect on a typical Burmese meal? Of course, rice would always be present. Along with rice would be a viand or accompanying dish they term as hin. Curry is also a big need during meals that is why they serve curried meat or chicken with light soup on the side. For fritters, they usually use gourd or onions in breading or batter.
In Burmese customs, the elders are served the food first. If ever they are not around for the meal, the first scoop of rice is set aside. This first scoop is called u cha.
The very main influence of Burmese cookery is their religious background which is Buddhism. Buddhist consider the cow highly that is why they avoid eating beef. This is also one reason why many Burmese are vegetarians.
When it comes to countries that influence Myanmar, just take a look at the map and pin point the neighboring lands. Chinese inspired meals include those that are served with noodles and eaten with chop sticks. One famous meal that I have tasted is the Mi Swan. This is made with very soft noodles and is served with chicken broth. I really love how simple the taste it but how soothing it can be just like our regular chicken soup. Another Chinese inspired meal I was able to partake on was the San Byokh which is rice congee with duck. It was topped with century egg and I didn’t know how good a century egg could taste until that day.
India is also one of the neighboring countries of Myanmar. I got to see and taste a lot of curry! One of the best delicacies I’ve tasted really made love to my sweet tooth. It is called Hpaluda and is made with jello, milk, rose water, coconut shavings topped with custard and ice cream. I couldn’t help but order 3 plates! We were also able to taste a fish dish with green chilly curry on it. This made my belly boil and I had to come back for more the next day! The fish fillet was cooked perfectly in low hear and it was accompanied by a rich tasting pumpkin curry.
I have tasted the best stuffed flat bread in Burma! I don’t know how they bake it or make it but the bread is really tasty. The curry they include with it is Nepalese and there is a lot of radish, cabbage, tomato salsa and mango pickle going around. Salads with these ingredients dressed with peanut oil and lime tasted so good as well.
We had some street snacking as well. You have to try bat skewers. They are roasted, crispy, crunchy and very enticing. If you have an interest for exotic food then this should be the perfect challenge for you. There are western meals served as well just in case you miss them such as pizza and pasta but expect a Burmese twist! In conclusion, Burmese cooks are really diverse – from East to West – they can merge flavors in your plate amazingly!