Myanmar Traditional Foods
Myanmar food has its own special identity, which is beloved by local people. Although it draws on its neighbours, it is neither as hot as Thai, nor as spicy as Indian, nor does it resemble Chinese cooking much except for the stir-fried vegetables. The meal is arranged around rice with accompanying dishes of fish, meat or fowl cooked in an onion and garlic based gravy. Soup, which can be clear, refreshingly tart or creamy, is sipped during the meal to clear the palate. Salads are a popular side dish and some, such as the pickled tea leaf or ginger salads, are eaten also as after-meal or all-day snacks.


Mohinga, a thick fish broth with thin rice noodles, is probably Myanmar’s most famous national dish. Running a close second is the popular ohno kaukswe, a coconut-based chicken soup with noodles. Monti, particularly from Mandalay, is Myanmar’s answer to spaghetti; and kyar zan chet is a chicken broth and vermicelli soup with chunks of chicken, dried mushrooms and coriander.


Nga Pi

Ngapi, a paste made from salted, fermented fish or shrimp, is considered the cornerstone of any Burmese meal. It is used in a versatile manner in that it is used in soup base, in salads, in main dishes and also in condiments. Popular varieties depend on the region.

The ngapi of Rakhine State contains no or little salt, and uses marine fish. It is used as a soup base for the Rakhine ‘national’ cuisine, mont di . It is also used widely in cooking vegetables, fish and even meat.

In the coastal Ayeyarwady and Tanintharyi divisions, the majority of ngapi is instead based on freshwater fish, with a lot of salt. Ngapi is also used as a condiment such as ngapi yay , an essential part of Karen cuisine, which includes runny ngapi, spices and boiled fresh vegetables. In Shan State, ngapi is made instead from fermented beans, and is used as both a flavoring and also condiment in Shan cuisine.

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Mont Lone Yay Paw

The name Mont Lone Yay Paw literally means “round snack on the water” in Burmese, as it’s made by boiling up balls of rice dough which bob along on top of the bubbling water when they’re ready to eat. The balls are stuffed with palm jaggery which we call htanyet, although you can substitute palm sugar.

In keeping with the playful spirit of Thingyan, some folk will stuff the occasional ball with bird’s eye chillies instead and offer them to unsuspecting friends. Mont Lone Yay Paw are usually served on a square of banana leaf, and occasionally scattered with grated coconut if such a luxury is available.One of the nicest things about Mont Lone Yay Paw  is that you often make it in a big group, chatting away as you roll the balls in unison and throw them into the water.

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La Phat Thoke
  Laphet or pickled tea leaves with a dash of oil and served with sesame seeds, fried garlic and roasted peanuts, is another popular typical snack  of Myanmar.

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