The history of Myanmar traditional food may be as old as its culture and arts. Myanmar is an agricultural country with rice as the principle crop. Most of Myanmar snacks are generally made of rice or glutinous rice, milk or grated shreds of coconut and sugar or jaggery as sweeteners. Myanmar snacks are rich in variety of kinds and taste. Myanmar people are very fond of snacks either breakfast items, as fast food or at tea-times.
Within the country, traditional dishes often differ, depending on whether you eat them in the north or south. The specialties have also evolved according to the taste of the predominant ethnic groups in a particular region.
Myanmar menus also show the influence of neighboring China and India. Visitor can find the dumplings and grilled vegetables of China side by side the curries and chapatti of India. But there is still an abundance of the ‘real thing’ to attract the consumer with combinations of hot, sweet, sour and salty flavors that are uniquely Myanmar.
Mohinga is the traditional breakfast in Myanmar and it is quite normal to go out for this meal. So, each morning, Mohinga stalls appear and people tend to have their favorite vendor or café. The Mohinga that cooked in an area may be quite different in another. That’s because each of the 135 ethnicities in Myanmar has its own culinary style. It is also a popular snack at any time of day or night. The dish with a gentle fish soup is added to the shallot and banana stem served with rice noodles and a variety of condiments scattered on top. The soup is cooked by chickpea mixed with fish and condiments. The fish used for soup has to different as river, lake or seawater fish. All of which have the excellent taste. The rice noodle has various sizes such as thin, normal, thick and flat. So the customer can order and enjoy as his preferences. Optional toppings include sliced hard-boiled eggs and fried onions, gourd fritters, crisp bean crackers are either broken in small pieces. The dish is seasoned to taste with lemon juice and lemon grass.
The pickled tea leaf that is called laphet, is eaten at all time of day, perhaps as the end of a meal or as a snack. According to the Myanmar’s tradition, the lapetthoke (pickled tea leaves salad) will be served when visitors arrive. On such occasions, a drink of local green tea and the laphettoke filled with laphet, crunchy dried peas and beans, peanuts, garlic, fried garlic, toasted sesame and green chilli will be served.
Nan Gyi Thoke often called the spaghetti of Myanmar is another popular breakfast food. However it is available from morning till afternoon as some people eats regardless of time. The dish is is prepared by mixing curried chicken and the rice noodle adding onion shreds, scallions and par-boiled bean sprouts as individual’s preference. It is very delicious meal.
Hto-Hpu-Nwe known as “Warm Tofu” is one of the popular dishes of Shan Tribe in north-eastern Myanmar. Despite the tofu name, the dish does not really include tofu, but rather a thick porridge made from chickpea flour. It is served in thin rice noodles, chunks of marinated pork or chicken and covered with a layer of chilli oil.
It is fish mashed with bones and all. A moist paste product and use a little for boiling. It is very popular side dish in Myanmar, especially the Myanmar and Karen tribes. The mashed pressed fish (Ngapiyegyo) is boiled with onions, tomato, garlic, pepper and other spices. The result is a greenish-grey broth-like sauce, which makes its way to dining table. Fresh, raw or blanched vegetables and some fruits (such as cabbage, tomato, green mangos, chilli, onions and garlic) are dipped into the Ngapiyegyo and the enjoyable with rice. Sometimes, in less affluent families Ngapiyegyo forms the main dish, and also the main source of rich protein.
In Myanmar, Kaut Nyin Paung is mostly served for the breakfast or sometime at the tea time in the afternoon. It is usually steamed with special steamed cookies in Shan State, while the Myanmar people seem to cook it just like the normal rice. Steamed black and white glutinous rice has firmer texture and of course more delicious, while the cooked one is soft. It is usually prepared the black and white mixture of sticky rice with sesame powder, salt and coconut shreds.
Si Hta Minn or Yellow Myanmar Sticky Rice is always simple and delicious. It is one of the typical breakfast in Myanmar and also a popular dish in pagoda festivals. Steamed peas and baked dried fish is a perfect duo with Si Hta Minn. It is sprinkled the Si Hta Minn with fried onion and sesame powder.
Mote Lone Yay Paw is a traditional sweet rice balls. In Myanmar language, it means the snack that floats on water. It is usually stuffed with palm sugar. The food is often served during the celebration of Myanmar New Year Festival, which is also known as
Thingyan, a four day festival that ushers in the Myanmar New Year, is the biggest holiday of the year in Myanmar. It usually starts on April 13th. Most of the cities and towns makeshift pavilions with stages for singing and dancing are erected and barrels are filled with water. Young people dance and sing on the stages and throw water on anyone who passes on the road.
Shwe Yin Aye – one of the popular Myanmar traditional dessert, is sweet and soft. It is made by combine small boiled sago, agar jelly, bread, sugar coconut cream, sticky rice and ice cubes. This simplest dessert is sweet, delicious and usually cooling on hot days and easy to make.
Pyar Thalet means the honeycomb. The snack is baked with the rice flour batter as the shaped of honeycomb. It is made in two types with or without palm sugar syrup. With palm sugar syrup is made for sweet taste. But, traditionally, the mont pyar thalets are without palm sugar syrup.
It means the couple or husband and wife snack. It is made with rice flour batter fried in the hemispherical shape dimpled pan and joins 2 pieces. Because of joining 2 pieces, this snack figure as the husband and wife.
It is the Myanmar Style pancake which is made with rice flour, palm sugar, coconut chips and peanuts, garnished with poppy seeds. It is fluffy in the middle and slightly crispy on the sides. People love to have it with an extra egg atop or sprinkled with nuts or both.