Burmese food is a lively mixture of cuisines from various regions in Myanmar with influences from its neighbouring countries such as China, India and Thailand. Modern Burmese food can be distinguished into two varieties: coastal and inland. The food in coastal areas, such as that in Yangon focuses on fish and seafood-based products such as fish sauce, while the cuisine in inland regions tends to revolve around meat and poultry. Burmese food also includes a variety of salads that add a refreshing taste to the palette. Some of our favourite dishes are listed below:
One of Myanmar’s most original dishes, the Burmese tea leaf salad might sound strange to those coming from western countries. Nevertheless, it is one of the most popular Burmese foods, especially in Shan State. It is a mixture of marinated tea leaves, cabbage, onion, garlic, lime, peppers, dried shrimp and roasted peanuts.
When talking to a local about Burmese food, Mohinga will usually come up as one of the local favoruites. Mohinga is a traditional Burmese dish as well as the national dish. It consists of rice noodle with fish soup and is traditionally consumed for breakfast, but can also be eaten at other times of the day. It is very fragrant thanks to herbs such as lemongrass and ginger as well as fish sauce.
An alternative to mohinga, this dish consists of noodles cooked in coconut milk with chicken. The Burmese particularly appreciate this dish for breakfast. In Myanmar, don’t be surprised to find that people eat noodle soup and other heavy dishes such as rice-based foods for breakfast.
As you stroll through the streets of Yangon in the evening, you will surely find plenty of restaurants with skewers ranging from meats and seafood to a large variety of vegetable choices such as okra and broccoli. Don’t hesitate to grab a seat and pick some skewers and let the restaurant staff take care of grilling it for you. A delicious Burmese food experience!
Burmese people, like all people in Southeast Asia, like to snack throughout the day – and why wouldn’t they with such delicious Burmese food so readily available? You can therefore feast on various curries and soups in small restaurants at any time of the day or buy donuts or Indian breads in the street. Well-cooked dishes usually do not present a hygiene problem. If you are sensitive, avoid meat and raw vegetables and fruits that you have not peeled yourself and remember to wash your hands very well before meals, this is the best way to avoid getting sick.
Contact your Shanti Travel Expert who will be more than happy to share with you his/her favourite dishes and must-try restaurants!