Burmese food guide — Delicious, cheap and unique food in Myanmar

Burmese cuisine has been inspired by Chinese and Indian cuisine, yet its own unique flavor has been retained.

Shan-style rice

Shan-style rice in Myanmar Photo: sanctum-inle-resort
Shan-style rice in Myanmar Photo: sanctum-inle-resort

Shan, like the Kinh ethnic group in Vietnam, is Myanmar’s most populous ethnic group. They have a distinct and ancient culture and history, as well as a well-known food. Shan-style rice is a representation of Shan’s traditional cuisine that tourists should not miss when visiting Myanmar.

The rice is cooked with yellow turmeric water making a stunningly beautiful color Photo: notesplusultra
The rice is cooked with yellow turmeric water making a stunningly beautiful color Photo: notesplusultra

Shan-style rice is rice combined with various seasonings and eaten with spicy fried fish, roasted peanuts, and seasonal vegetables. Fish can sometimes be swapped with chicken or just garnished with garlic oil, cloves, and crispy pigskin. Typically, this meal is served with fried rice paper and a spicy sauce.

Burmese Salads

Famous tea leaf salad in Myanmar Photo: sanctum-inle-resort
Famous tea leaf salad in Myanmar Photo: sanctum-inle-resort

Salads, particularly tea leaf salad and green tomato salad, must be highlighted while discussing the wonderful, typical, and famous food that travelers must taste when visiting Myanmar.

Any tourist to Myanmar must have tea leaf salad at least once, which will startle them in an unexpected way when they encounter the meal for the first time. When most people think of salad, they see a food that combines a variety of fruits and vegetables and has a characteristic green hue. The tea leaf salad, on the other hand, has a distinct ochre hue.

The ingredients to make the well-known tea leaf salad Photo: photobucket
The ingredients to make the well-known tea leaf salad Photo: photobucket

The salad is created with fermented tea leaves that have a somewhat sour and bitter flavor, as well as chopped cabbage, cherry tomatoes, fried beans, and breaded roasted peanuts. When eating, a little garlic oil and chile should be added for a greater flavor. This famous Burmese food, however, is considered a stimulant that might produce sleepiness. As a result, travelers should limit their consumption of this meal.

Green tomato salad - typical kind of salad at Inle Lake, Myanmar Photo: cooked.com
Green tomato salad – typical kind of salad at Inle Lake, Myanmar Photo: cooked.com

Aside from that, whenever tourists have a chance to visitin Myanmar, another must try dish is green tomato salad – a popular snack of the area where Inle Lake is located.

Burmese curry

Different kinds of curries in Myanmar Photo: fineartamerica
Different kinds of curries in Myanmar Photo: fineartamerica

Curry is the characteristic dish with the typical flavor and aroma of Burmese cuisine that can be found in any restaurant in Myanmar, from affordable to luxury. Tourists may pick from a variety of curries based on the major item used to make the curry, such as chicken, beef, pig, lamb, or seafood, among others. Curry is typically served with rice, broth, fresh vegetables, mixed-leaf salad, sautéed veggies, and herbs.

Pork curry with potatoes Photo: riceandcurry
Pork curry with potatoes Photo: riceandcurry

Tourists should try the curry cooked with onion and served with rice, tea leaf salad, and fried tofu. This dish is surely worth trying for its interesting taste.

Mohinga fish noodle

Mohinga fish noodle is a perfect suggestion for breakfast Photo: sbs
Mohinga fish noodle is a perfect suggestion for breakfast Photo: sbs

If tourists still hesitate, not knowing what to choose for breakfast in Myanmar; that it’s delicious, at the same time, give them a full stomach; then this traditional breakfast meal of Mohinga fish noddle is a perfect recommendation. Tourists can easily find this noodle dish themselves anywhere in any market, street food cart, or restaurant in Myanmar, regardless of day and night.

The ingredients for Mohinga Photo: myanmarfoodandtravel
The ingredients for Mohinga Photo: myanmarfoodandtravel

Noodles in general

If there is Pho in Vietnam, Udon noodle in Japan, Laska in Malaysia, Mee in Singapore, etc. then there is a lot of kinds of noodles in Myanmar to enjoy as well.

A bowl of delicious noodle in Myanmar Photo: clarissaweidot.com
A bowl of delicious noodle in Myanmar Photo: clarissaweidot.com

Shan tofu noodle is one of the traditional noodle dishes of Myanmar. Its attraction comes from its beautiful yellow color noodles, slices of tofu made from lentils and green beans, in the natural sweetness and richness of the broth.

Nan Gyi Thoke noodle Photo: notesplusultra
Nan Gyi Thoke noodle Photo: notesplusultra

Nan Gyi Thoke ‘dry’ noodle is fascinating thanks to its thick round rice noodle mixed with vegetables stock or curry, served with slices of hard-boiled egg, sliced fish, shredded chicken, and slightly cooked bean sprouts.

Tofu noodle - a special dish in Myanmar with the way of cooking different from what it sounds Photo: 3.bp.blogspot
Tofu noodle – a special dish in Myanmar with the way of cooking different from what it sounds Photo: 3.bp.blogspot

Certainly, tourists should also spend time experience the tofu noodle, the most original dish in Burmese cuisine. The way this noddle dish is cooked is totally different from its name. Tofu noodle is actually green bean congee served over rice noodles. When eating, they will be mixed together with chunks of spicy marinated chicken or pork, pickled vegetables, chilies, etc.

Snacks and Drinks

Street food at Yangon market, Myanmar Photo: ivivu
Street food at Yangon market, Myanmar Photo: ivivu

Yangon Market and Bagan Market are the address for tourists to enjoy Myanmar street food that they can find and enjoy any typical snack, and drink of the country.

Street food in Myanmar can be a bit greasy as they like deep fried food. However, the taste is irresistible Photo: lthforum
Street food in Myanmar can be a bit greasy as they like deep fried food. However, the taste is irresistible Photo: lthforum

Burmese people are into snacks made of rice flour or glutinous rice flour and deep-fried in oil. Therefore, all the typical and tasteful Burmese snacks are normally rather greasy and oily. However, tourists can fix the problem by having them with sweet and sour sauce and yellow lemon juice – a popular drink so that they can “consume” more food.

The variety of street food in Myanmar Photo: migrationology
The variety of street food in Myanmar Photo: Mark Wiens

Other street foods that cannot be missed travelling to Myanmar can be listed such as ‘Tea Mix’ milk tea, green bean and red bean dumplings, spring rolls, donuts, fried bread, and a variety of fried food.

Burmese milk tea Photo: i.ytimg
Burmese milk tea Photo: i.ytimg

 

A dumpling for breakfast in Myanmar. Why not? Photo: annabellebreakey
A dumpling for breakfast in Myanmar. Why not? Photo: annabellebreakey

 

Mont Lin Ma Yar - made of rice flour, deep-fried, then covered with quail egg, spring onion and roasted chickpea Photo: dichoi.com
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