By A British Girl Abroad

          Mohinga is probably the closest thing Myanmar has to a national dish and you can spot boiling pots of Mohinga on street corners and teahouses all over the country.

          Whilst the recipe varies from cook to cook, region to region, Mohinga is at its base, a bowl of thin rice vermicelli noodles, served in a spiced lemongrass and turmeric fish broth that has been thickened with rice and chickpea flour. Garnishes vary and can include anything from split pea fritters, boiled egg and fish cake to tempura of gourd or onion as well as lots of fresh herbs. The slight tanginess of the broth alongside the oily fish and crunchy split pea fritters make this dish a real explosion for the taste buds and one of the best breakfasts you can find!


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Try It At: Lucky Seven on the corner of 49th Street and Bogyoke road in Downtown Yangon.

          Shan Tofu, also known as To Hpu, differs from other Asian tofu in that it is actually made with either split pea or chickpea flour (sometimes a mixture of both) as opposed to soy beans.

          It is served in an array of dishes such as To Phu Thoke (Sliced, chilled or room temperature tofu) Tofu Kyaw (fried into crisp little nuggets with a soft centre) and Tofu Nway where it is ladled over thin rice noodles and topped with roasted chilli’s, crushed peanuts, soy sauce, jaggery syrup and if you like, a choice of pork or chicken mixed with tomatoes. It is full of intriguing textures and flavours, and is intensely comforting not to mention completely delicious.


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Try It At: 999 Shan Noodles, 34th street middle block (just behind City Hall)

          No one should visit Myanmar without trying the unique local delicacy Lahpet or Pickled Tea Leaves. The leaves are eaten in several different preparations including fried with rice, it is in Lahpet Thohk where they really shine. Lahpet Thohk is a pickled tealeaf salad with toasted sesame seeds, fried garlic, split peas, peanuts, raw white cabbage and slices of ripened tomato dressed in sesame oil and a drizzle of fish sauce. The salad is immediately refreshing and reviving – not surprising when you consider that tea contains caffeine and is a stimulant – and like the other Burmese dishes mentioned so far, the contrasting textures and flavours are what really make this dish so interesting.


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Try It: Rangoon Tea House, 77-79 Pansodan Street.

          Another must-try noodle dish is Shan Khao Swè or Shan Noodles – Shan is a tribe that lives in Myanmar and Thailand – and whilst these are eaten in several different ways; as a noodle soup, dry with broth on the side, or with a choice of sweet or spicy oil, the noodle soup is probably the most popular.

          Rice noodles are served in a delicious broth of chicken or pork – depending on which version you order – which has been cooked down with mixed spices and some tomato alongside mustard greens and your choice of meat, often with a sprinkling of cooked pork rinds and peanuts. You can then choose to add smoky chilli oil or dried chilli flakes which can be found as standard tabletop condiments to enrich the flavour further.


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Try It: Aung Mingalar Shan Noodles, Corner of Bo Yar Nyunt & Nawaddy.

          The people of Myanmar are huge fans of A-Kyaw little fried snacks that you can find buy from street food sellers on most of the street corners in downtown Yangon and across the country. Try Pe Kyaw, split pea fritters, Baya Kyaw a split pea fritter like almost like an Indian vadai, samosas and more. The samosa can also be found as a Samosa Thohk or salad, where they are snipped up with scissors and tossed with cabbage, fresh mint, tomato and spiced chickpeas, then a spoonful of lentil broth is spooned over the top.


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Try It: Corner of 42nd Street & Merchants Road

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For more information on Burmese food I would highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of Mandalay, a recipe book by the brilliant London based Burmese food writer MiMi Aye.

Burmese food in Bangkok Feel Myanmar Mo.Na

More must-eat tips in Yangon on A British Girl Abroad