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Best Myanmar Traditional Foods

Updated on October 9, 2014

Myanmar is composed of over 100 ethnic groups. In general, it has eight major ethnic groups. According to its rich ethnic traditions, Myanmar traditional foods as well as dishes are dominated by ethnic tastes. Myanmar's stable food is rice which is accompanied with curry. Curry is a kind of dish derived from India but Myanmar's uses less flavor and spices than that of Indians. Although, rice and curry is the usual meal, Myanmars do not eat that way all the time. As I mentioned above, Myanmar food is highly dominated by those of ethnics. In this hub, I'm gonna introduce you with the best and most popular dishes of Myanmar.

La-Phat-Thoke

La-Phat-Thoke
La-Phat-Thoke | Source

The Main symbolic traditional food of Myanmar

If you ask what the main symbolic traditional food of Myanmar is, well I say, La-Phat-Thoke (Pickled tea leaves salad). Since the bygone era of Myanmar Monarch, Myanmars enjoyed tea and used tea leaves in various ways as food, medicine and beauty products. Enjoying plain tea and La-Phat-Thoke (Pickled tea leaves salad) is Myanmar's typical way to spend Sunday afternoons. Other traditional foods of Myanmar change according to region where you are consuming. But La-Phat-Thoke can be enjoyed all over the country from dry zone to cold highlands.

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The Award-winning Dish

Before we take a look at ethnic traditional foods, I'd like to introduce you with the award winning dish in the International Gastronomy Festival, Nan-Pyar-Thoke. This festival was held in Vietnam (April 15 to 19, 2014) and about eighty countries participated. Nan-Pyar-Thoke is a kind of salad in which the main component is Nan-Pyar (it is made of rice, noodle-like) and other ingredients are cabbage (some do not use this), onions, celery and chicken. It is neither a side-dish nor dessert. Myanmars mostly enjoy it as breakfast. Some people enjoy it as a fast main course sometimes because it doesn't take much time and available in many tea shops. A chicken soup is usually served together with Nan-Pyar-Thoke.

The ethnic traditional foods are mentioned as follows:

Myay-Oo-Mee-Shay

Myay-Oo-Mee-Shay
Myay-Oo-Mee-Shay | Source

Ngar-hta-Min-Nal (Fish Rice)

Fish Rice
Fish Rice | Source

Shan Traditional Food

Shan state is the largest state in Myanmar and situated in the eastern Myanmar. It is also sharing borders with Thailand. The majority in Myanmar are Bamar nationals which are followed by Shan nationals. So, you should assay the taste of Shan Food. While you are in Myanmar, grab a chance to try Shan-Khauk-Swel (Shan noodles). It is a mixture of noodles, peanut powder, sesame oil and chicken. A chicken soup with leek and pepper will be served as a complimentary.

Another dish is my absolute favorite one_ "Myay-O-Mee-Shay". It will surely take get your attention and stimulates your appetite. A unique and delicious dish which you can serve chicken or fish as you desire (Most of the shops only serve chicken). It contains a certain kind of noodles, carrots, water crass, baby corns, French beans, dried mushrooms and pigeon eggs. When you start to open the lid, a sweet smell comes out together with the steam. It tastes hot and spicy. This is also a stress-releasing dish for me. I get sweat then I feel fresh, all my stresses are released. As mentioned, it is composed of many ingredients_ a fascinating dish with high vitamins.

Ngar-Hta-Minn-Nal literally means that rice and fish are mixed. It is offered well decorated with chive roots and fried red chilies. It sure will be new to you as it is packed with a banana leaf.

Well, this is enough for Shan traditional dishes. What's next?

Rakhine Monti

Rakhine Monti
Rakhine Monti | Source

Rakhine Papaya Salad

Papaya Salad
Papaya Salad | Source

Rakhine Traditional Foods

Rakhine state is the western coastal region of Myanmar. Being a coastal region, no wonder most of their traditional foods are related to fish and seafood. These nationals enjoy salads I guess on account of most of their traditional foods are squid salad, fish salad, octopus salad and shrimp salad. There're heavenly dishes made of lobsters too. But now, I'd like to present pure Rakhine traditional foods apart from those seafood salads.

Rakhine Monti

Once I and my foreigner pal, Samantha, were walking along the street and suddenly, she said "I smelt something nice. What food is that? I'd like to try it if possible." by pointing to a street vendor. I still can't believe she ate two dishes of Rakhine Monti.

Rakhine Monti is a dish which you can also name as a fish soup. The fish in this dish need to be roasted before putting it. It tastes spicy, hot and a little bit salty. I've heard that the key for a good Rakhine Monti depends upon how the fish is roasted.

Rakhine Papaya salad

This is quite similar to Thai papaya salad but this one contains shrimp and peanut powders in addition. Another spicy captivating food to try!!!

Mont-Hin-Khar

Mont-Hin-Khar
Mont-Hin-Khar | Source

Steamed Rice

Steamed Rice
Steamed Rice | Source

Bamar Traditional Food

Well, it's time to taste some Bamar foods. (Bamar is the major ethnic group of Myanmar.)

Mont-Hin-Khar

A must dish to try. This dish is usually served at ceremonies_ charities, housewarming ceremonies and on memorial days of the passed away people. On the birthday parties also, but in this case, it is branded as Mont-Thet-Shay which literally means "Live Long".

Bamar's usually meal is something worth to try. Other nationalities usually say Myanmar foods are oily. Yeah, certainly it is. I think that's for a reason. Curries are usually cooked early and often kept throughout the day. The layer of oil shields against bacteria and spoilage. Myanmars usually eat rice and curry for their lunch. Curries of Myanmar derived from India. But those curries don't have much flavor and spices.

Steamed Rice

The steamed rice is such so popular there. If you are trying to immerse in Myanmar culture and tradition, you should try steamed rice too. The sticky rice is steamed and served with sesame powder. Some grated coconut is adorned on top.

Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw

This is a seasonal food which is only made in Thingyan Festival (Myanmar New Year Festival). 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 chilies 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.

Well, thank you for stopping by and reading my hub. Hope my hub could arouse your appetite to try Myanmar traditional food!

Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw

Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw
Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw | Source

Making Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw

Making Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw
Making Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw | Source

Making Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw

Making Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw
Making Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw | Source

Making Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw

Making Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw
Making Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw | Source

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