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Burmese Cuisine : Foods in Burma

Updated on March 14, 2011

Burmas Location

Burma is located in Southeast Asian region and is bounded by the China in the northeastern part, Laos in the easternmost part, and on the southeastern part is Siam or Thailand and Indian on the northwestern side.

The main religion in Burma is Buddhism and this is a function and influences of Thailand and nearby countries which are predominantly Buddhists. Burma can also be called Myanmar.

Burma's political struggle is much talked about in the world of politics. Burma has been a monarchy before it was colonized by the British monarchy up to 1948, they have gained their independence. They have been colonized by the British by more than 100 years from.

Mohinga -- national dish of Burma-- usually eaten at breakfast

it is a vermicelli (rice) in fish soup with ingredients
it is a vermicelli (rice) in fish soup with ingredients

Burmese Cuisine

Cultural influences in Burmese foods. Burmese culture and tradition to some extent is influenced by the many years of monarchical rule and the topography of the region which has coastlines and mountains plus plains. Burma is the 40th largest country and the largest in Southeast Asian region.

Burmese cuisine is influenced by the following :

  • Mon, Hin, Shan, Rakhine dynasty influenced the kind of their food
  • Indian, Bamar also influenced in food are very strong, including Thai and nearby countries
  • Burmese food has some similarities to the foods of Chinese, Thais and the Indians, this is because they are near and surrounded by a portion of these countries.

World Cuisine

A Burmese dinner or lunch

it consists of rice, vegetables, raw and fresh or boiled, soups and curried paste
it consists of rice, vegetables, raw and fresh or boiled, soups and curried paste

Burmese foods

Burma is a country which eats tea as main food and as a drink.

Like the nearby regions like Thais and Filipinos and Vietnam Burmese peruse shrimp paste -- a paste mixed with foods and meals to have a distinct fishy taste. They also used fish sauce to add flavor to their foods.

Rice is the staple food and mixed with other main meals. They also eat noodles. Their main meal is made from meat, poultry, seafoods and vegetables mixed with ingredients and spices like chili.

Laphet -- pickled tea which is part of other main food like the famous lahpet thoke


Thoke is a famous Burmese food

Burmese foods consists of variety of salads, one famous example is thoke -- combination of noodles with lots of ingredients at times including shrimp paste.

What is a thoke? it is a noodle meal consisting of one major food like noodles, rice, potato and is mixed with lots and various seasonings, garnishing and flavorings ranging from chili, lime, fish sauce shrimp.

Variations of thoke are :

  • Thayet chin thoke
  • Tofu thoke
  • Lahpet thoke
  • Samuza thoke
  • Khauk swè thoke
  • Nan gyi thoke

Sample of a typical Burmese meal

  • is rice and another food usually fish, (curried or salted), plus a soup and boiled or raw veggies


Beverages and drinks

Some of the beverages and drinks are made from coconut.

Thoke -- noodle salad and is famous in Burma


another version of thoke -- lahpet (tea) thoke

a salad combi of  pickled tea (leaves)and lots of ingredients and dressing, lime included plus sauce of fish
a salad combi of pickled tea (leaves)and lots of ingredients and dressing, lime included plus sauce of fish
Lahpet is pickled tea
Lahpet is pickled tea

Ingredients in Burmese food

  • lemongrass, lentil, chili green and they are also dried, chickpea,fermented shrimp, tamarind, tomatoes, sesame oil and seeds, fermented fish and shrimp, onions, tumeric, prawns, roselle leaves, lime, santol -- sour, salted fish, green bean, blackeyed pea, asparagus, cilantro

Condiments : includes some sour, sweet and flavorful, chili

Vegetables which are used as ingredients :

  • carrots, asparagus, gourd, cabbage, chayote, cauliflower, coriander leaves, cabbage, bean sprouts, cucumber, mushrooms, okra

Note -- Ingredients are always fresh, like vegetables, herbs and spices

Fruits :

  • mostly tropical fruits like guava, durian, mango, jackfruit, rambutan and pomelo, waterrmelon, lychee

Shwe yin aye -- a dessert made of coconut, sago and jelly

Phaluda - a cold drink from coconut with ice, milk and coconut grates

Dessert -- MontLone yeibaw made from sticky rice and coconut shredded

Fruits in Burma

durian, foul smelling but smelly fruit
durian, foul smelling but smelly fruit


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    • Jyoti Patil profile image

      Jyoti Patil 6 years ago from Mumbai

      Beautiful information on Burmese food. i never knew they used Tea as an ingredient to eat.Great hub

    • zorritta profile image

      zorritta 6 years ago from New York

      This is fantastic! My mouth was watering while I read this. I live in New York City too, and now I can't wait to find a Burmese restaurant to try.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      What an amazing hub with the most beautiful photos. One of the best things about living in New York City is that there is every cuisine. Some friends and I made it a point to regularly visit a Burmese restaurant where the food was soooo good. We were amazed that green tea was served like a food - it was excellent.

      Thanks for such a great hub with food that I can personally say is great!

      Rated up and more!