Diverse and always complex. That’s perhaps the best way to describe the street food you’ll find in Myanmar.
Since the newly sovereign state opened up its borders to tourists, Myanmar has undoubtedly become THE region to head to in Southeast Asia. Whether it’s immersing yourself in the hustle and bustle of Yangon, or taking in the scenic views of its rural areas, Myanmar has more than enough to fill a week’s itinerary (or more!). Myanmar also has loads to offer by way of food – a topic that’s no doubt close to many Singaporeans’ hearts. A large part of its food culture is influenced by Thailand, China and India due to its proximity to these countries so it’s safe to say that it’ll take you a long time to tire of its diverse cuisine.
There are loads of options for those thinking of flying to Myanmar, and FlyMya, the country’s first and most comprehensive fare comparison website, is on hand to help make the task of booking your flight to Myanmar a cinch. Here, you can check flight schedules for every domestic airline, as well as book tickets via Paypal and the Myanmar Payment Union (MPU). Want to take the guesswork out of planning your trip? You’ll be happy to know that you can also book all-inclusive tour packages for day trips to Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, and the Heho region.
Without further ado, let us whet your tastebuds with some of the tasty options that await you on your next trip to Myanmar.
Dubbed the national dish of Myanmar, mohinga is rice vermicelli in a fish-based broth, topped off with lemongrass, garlic, ginger, dough fritters, and a hardboiled egg. The pungent broth that’s been thickened by ground chickpeas is moreish, so don’t be surprised to find yourself slurping it down to the last drop. Oh, and be sure to wake up early if you wish to score yourself a bowl of mohinga as it usually sells out by 9am.
2. Khao Suey
Similar to the Northern Thai khao soi, khao suey is yellow rice noodles cooked with curried beef and coconut milk. This bowl of delicious curry noodles will surely be one of the highlights of your trip. Interestingly, this dish is also ubiquitous in India as it was brought over by Indians who migrated to East India from Burma.
3. Lahpet Thoke
You can’t have a discussion about Burmese food without a mention of lahpet thoke, which is pickled tea leaves tossed with peanuts, garlic, toasted sesame, garlic, preserved ginger, chilli and dried shrimps. To make it vegetarian-friendly, ask for yours without the dried shrimp. The bitterness of the tea leaves, coupled with the punchiness of the sauce, and the crunchiness of its other ingredients make this a must-try item on your next visit to Myanmar.
4. Mont Lin Ya Mar
Now this street snack is seriously Instagram-worthy. While dollops of rice flour batter are being cooked in a cast iron pan, ingredients such as quail eggs, chickpeaks and scallions are added to it, before being covered by another small mound of rice flour batter. So yummy you won’t be able to stop at one.
5. Eya Kway
If there’s one breakfast item that Singaporeans will be more than familiar with, it’s the Chinese youtiao (just with a Burmese name). Enjoy it like the locals do: Dipped in a piping hot cup of local coffee or tea.
6. Schwe Yin Aye
Those with a sweet tooth will not find Myanmar lacking! Schwe Yin Aye is a decadent coconut milk-based dessert laden with a variety of carbs including bread, agar agar, boiled sago and sticky rice. Just what the doctor ordered for a hot, muggy day in Myanmar.
7. Samosa Thoke
Anything that has “thoke” in it generally refers to a salad. But in Myanmar, the word “salad” seems to refer to a bunch of ingredients being tossed together with a spicy sauce, rather than the lettuce and tomatoes you may be more familiar with. Samosa thoke is a delightful combination of potatoes, chick peas, and pastry, and cabbage, onions, mint, coriander and chillies are often added to it. Some vendors may add in a secret ingredient in the form of cinnamon. Those into fitness might want to try experimenting with making a form of this dish at home as it’s packed with protein, thanks to the generous amounts of chickpeas in it.
8. Kyae Oh
For many Singaporeans, comfort food comes in the form of a noodle soup. Kyae oh comes with rice noodles and marinated meatballs, and its broth can be made from pork, chicken or fish, though the pork version is usually the most ubiquitous. YKKO, a restaurant chain in Myanmar, specialises in serving up steaming hot bowls of kyae oh. If you can’t stomach the idea of hot soup when the mercury’s rising, you’ll be pleased to know there’s also a spicy dry version.