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Burmese Food & Drink

Burmese Food & Drink

  The food in Myanmar reflects strong Chinese, Indian and Mon influences, yet retains a unique flavor.

Burmese Food & Drink
 

The food in Myanmar reflects strong Chinese, Indian and Mon influences, yet retains a unique flavor. A regular Myanmar meal revolves around rich, curried fish or meat, soup, cooked vegetables and salad. The regional cuisine balances spicy, sour, bitter and salty flavors; it can be quite hot but rarely as much so as Thai food. Common local ingredients include fish, seafood, chicken and vegetables spiced with onions, ginger, garlic and chilies, served with rice or noodles. When going out to eat, most locals will pick Chinese restaurants since they make Burmese meals at home. Indian cuisine is also well represented particularly in Yangon, while major tourist areas usually have a selection of places doing passable Western food.

 

Specialities

• Lethok son (a sort of spicy vegetarian rice salad).
Mohinga (fish soup with noodles, the national dish).
Oh-no khauk swe (rice noodles, chicken and coconut milk).
Shan khauk swe (aka Shan noodles, a dish originating with the Shan minority but popular around the country; rice noodles either in broth or dry, usually with chicken).
Athoke (various ‘salads’ served cold, although they are rarely vegetable-based).
• Curry (a wide variety of curries which are traditionally accompanied by a selection of side dishes like ngapi (fish paste) as well as rice and soup).
Lahpet (a tasty dish based on fermented tea leaves, usually eaten as dessert and considered to be a key part of Myanmar’s culinary heritage).
Htanyet (jaggery, unrefined palm sugar eaten at the end of a meal).
• The avocados by Inle Lake are excellent; look out for creamy avocado shakes.
• Delicious fruits are available in the markets, whole or in pieces, and food stalls appear on the corners of most large towns.
• Many towns have night food markets where it’s possible to fill up cheaply between around 1700-2100. Restaurants rarely stay open much later than 2200.

 

Regional drinks

• Tea is a popular drink; the spices that are added to it can make the tongue turn bright red.
• Green tea (provided free in many restaurants).
• Black tea (drunk with milk and sugar in teahouses, which are important social hubs where a range of cheap snacks are also sold). 
• Locally produced beer, rum, whisky and gin are generally available.
• Coffee (usually sold in instant form except for in a few Western-style cafes).

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