I love Burmese food and the cuisine is underrepresented in New York City. So I had no choice but to get good at cooking it. These were the dishes I prepared for a Myanmar-themed birthday party.
Laphet Thoke (Burmese Tea Leaf Salad)
Fermented Burmese tea leaves in a dressing of garlic oil, lime juice, and fish sauce with shredded cabbage, cilantro, scallion, fresh ginger, dried shrimp, and grape tomatoes topped with crispy crunchies including fried garlic, fried onion, toasted sesame seeds, peanuts, toasted fava beans and soybeans.
Ohn No Khao Swè
Practically the Burmese national dish: noodles in a curried chicken and coconut milk broth with besan (chickpea flour) plus accompanying goodness.
Some components of Ohn No Khao Swè
The garnishes are essential although they vary from one version to the next – often fried bean fritters, caramelized onion, crispy shallots, various herbs, and slices of hard-boiled egg, kicked up with a squeeze of fresh lime.
Pork and Taro Banana Leaf Wraps
Pretty much my own invention. All the ingredients are authentically Burmese, but I don’t think they’ve ever been combined in quite this way. Anybody want to give this dish a name?
Inside Pork and Taro Banana Leaf Wraps
The creaminess comes from rice flour. I wish I had a better photo but I’m pleased to say they were snatched up too quickly for me to snap one.
My spin on a Burmese salad
It started out like Gin Thoke (shredded ginger and cabbage salad) then I added some taro leaves and shredded Asian pear, dried shrimp powder, and a host of crunchy things including crisp fried shallots, peanuts, vatana beans and coconut. Still a work in progress.
Not a great photo, but definitely good eats. This one is patterned after a dish I’ve enjoyed in Burmese restaurants and recreated based on taste memory; eggplant and shrimp with a lot of whole herbs like lemongrass and galangal plus savory additions like shrimp paste and fish sauce.
100 Layer Pancakes
This was my first attempt at making Burmese 100 Layer Pancakes (sometimes called 1000 Layer Pancakes if you’re prone to hyperbole). Each was tweaked from the preceding one – more salt, more ghee, thicker pancake, different technique, etc. I’m eager to experiment with these again.
Well, maybe not quite 100 layers.