Burmese Myanmar Foods
Rice is the main ingredient in typical Burmese Myanmar food
meal, to which soups, curries, salads, condiments, meat and other dishes are added for nutrition and zest. At meal time, all these dishes are laid out on the dining table at one time so that the meal may be designed to suit the diners' individual taste. The Myanmar foods are prepared in various ways-fried, boiled, grilled, and roasted or in salad form. The most usual form is, however, to cook fish, meat, chicken or vegetables seasoned with ground inions, garlic and condiments, swimming in a mix of oil and water, to a point where all or part of the water is evaporated. The degree of spiciness or tartness varies according to the amount of green chilli, cayenne pepper, curry powder, fish sauce and tamarind used in seasoning, although Myanmar foods are usually not as spicy as the typical Indian curry. Most Myanmar restaurants are quite cheap (around US$ 2 or US$ 4 per person including beer). So we haven't divided them into budget for Myanmar foods, mind-rang and top-end categories. A 10 % Myanmar government tax is applied to prices at up market Myanmar restaurants in Yangon and in top-end Myanmar hotel restaurants. An average rate explained by the fact that Myanmar foods is not that popular with travelers but good alternatives, Chinese or Indian are readily available. The choice, including for snacks, is wide and prices very reasonable, in particular on the street. There is no reason to loose weight in Myanmar!
Background History of Myanmar Food
Myanmar people has a long tradition of preparing Myanmar foods in their own way and the history of traditional food may probably as old as the culture and arts of Myanmar people. Myanmar is an agrarian country with rice as the primary crop. Myanmar used to be the world's biggest rice exporter.
Myanmar lies between two great and very different cultures which have influenced not only religion, culture and arts, but also the preparation of Burmese Myanmar food. During the colonial time, the influx of Chinese and Indians also had an impact on Myanmar traditional food, introducing new items. With the advent of globalization and trade liberalization, most famous foods from around the world are available in the cities, yet the majority of Myanmar people still cherish their own Myanmar foods, ensuring that its essence and uniqueness remains unchanged.
The most commonly used tables in Myanmar are round and low and the diners have to sit on the floor or perhaps mat during meals. Even when the table is of the international shape and height mostly used among urban families and in Myanmar restaurants, it should be small enough for the diners to reach all the dishes on the table. All dishes including rice are served simultaneously rather than course by course. There are no appetizers or hors d'oeuvre, and no wine or spirits served at the meal. All you can expect is drinking water, a juice or a cup of green tea.
When everything is served, people can start eating, taking small portions of Myanmar Burmese food they like. Normally, Myanmar people eat with their fingers, but Myanmar foods are provided with serving spoons to be handles with the clean left hand. Soup is usually served in a single bowl for all the diners and is shared.
Forks and spoons, but not knives, are permitted and have become popular. The elderly and the guests are given priority by letting them take the curry first in Myanmar. Hosts can initiate meals by serving a spoonful of curry on guest's plates after confirming if they would like the dish.
Diners intending on having another helping of rice, should leave some unfinished rice as a signal more is wanted. Rice and curry are to be eaten together rather than separately and soup can be taken at intervals. At the conclusion of the meal, Myanmar deserts such as laphet, fruit or jaggery may be served along with water, green tea or juice.
Main Myanmar dishes in a typical Myanmar meal can be classified as meat or fish, vegetables or salads, and some kind of soup. In the meat or fish category, dishes such as chicken, duck, pork, mutton, fish and prawns, and eggs cooked in water, oil and other spices.
But beef is usually not served. Vegetables are cut and cooked in various ways, usually with a small amount of oil and dried prawn to enhance the taste. Salads are mostly made of raw, cooked or preserved vegetables, or sometimes meat, fish or prawn, added with a number of ingredients to enrich the flavor. There are four main types of soups: sweet broth, hot and spicy, sour, and bean soup in Myanmar foods.
Myanmar people do not always have dessert during normal meals at home, but it is customary when entertaining a guest or giving a charity feast. Apart from fruits of various kinds, the most common desert is laphet or pickled tea leaves salad served with roasted sesame seeds and peanuts, fried beans and garlic, and a small amount of dried prawn. Shwe Kyi or rich semolina is another popular dessert served at feasts and on special occasions.
Kyauk Kyaw or seaweed jelly, mostly with a coconut milk layer on top, is also a common desert. Thagu or Thagu Byin , which may have acquired its name from the Malay origin, is sago or tapioca pudding sweetened with jaggery and enriched with coconut. Finally, the humblest of Myanmar traditional desserts is jaggery, a complimentary dessert provided in Myanmar meal shops and the only dessert Myanmar popular with rural families especially in Upper Myanmar.