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    RecipesManiac.com   >   National + Regional Cookbooks   >   Asian   >   Burmese


    How to Cook dishes from Burma

    Burma Burma, which is officially known as the "Union of Myanmar" is the largest country of Southeast Asia, and borders Bangladesh, China, India, and Thailand, as well as a long coastline along the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean.

    Burmese cuisine tends to be heavily influenced by that of its neighbors. It includes dishes inspired by Chinese cuisine and Indian cuisine, as well dishes created with Burma.

    Some popular Burmese recipes and dishes include:
    • Halawa - Based on Indian cuisine's halwa, this dish is made from sticky rice, coconut milk and butter.

    • Meeshei - Rice noodles with chicken or pork, bean sprouts, and rice flour fritters. Soy sauce, chili, coriander, garlic and other spices, as well as crispy fried onions, are used to garnish the dish.

    • Mohinga - Rice vermicelli in frish borth with onions and banana-stem. It is flavored with garlic, ginger and lemon grass, and is served with boiled eggs, fried fish cake (nga hpe) and fritters (akyaw). Mohinga is considered by many to be the national dish of Burma.

    • Pao-see - Steamed buns containing egg, pork or sweet bean paste. They are the Burmese version of Chinese cuisine's bao.

    • Papaya salad

    • Samusa - The Burmese version of Indian cuisine's samosa. It usually contains mutton and onions, and is served with green chilis, lime and mint.

    • Si gyet hkauk swe - Flat wheat noodles with duck or pork, garlic, spring onions and soy sauce.

    • Thingyan rice - Rice with mango salad.

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    Burmese Cookbooks

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    Burma: Rivers of Flavor

    By Naomi Duguid

    Duguid, Naomi/ Jung, Richard (PHT)
    Hardcover (384 pages)

    Burma: Rivers of Flavor
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    Winner, IACP Cookbook Award for Culinary Travel (2013)

    Naomi Duguid’s heralded cookbooks have always transcended the category to become “something larger and more important” (Los Angeles Times). Each in its own way is “a breakthrough book . . . a major contribution” (The New York Times). And as Burma opens up after a half century of seclusion, who better than Duguid―the esteemed author of Hot Sour Salty Sweet―to introduce the country and its food and flavors to the West.

    Located at the crossroads between China, India, and the nations of Southeast Asia, Burma has long been a land that absorbed outside influences into its everyday life, from the Buddhist religion to foodstuffs like the potato. In the process, the people of the country now known as Myanmar have developed a rich, complex cuisine that mekes inventive use of easily available ingredients to create exciting flavor combinations.

    Salads are one of the best entry points into the glories of this cuisine, with sparkling flavors―crispy fried shallots, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, a dash of garlic oil, a pinch of turmeric, some crunchy roast peanuts―balanced with a light hand. The salad tradition is flexible; Burmese cooks transform all kinds of foods into salads, from chicken and roasted eggplant to spinach and tomato. And the enticing Tea-Leaf Salad is a signature dish in central Burma and in the eastern hills that are home to the Shan people.

    Mohinga, a delicious blend of rice noodles and fish broth, adds up to comfort food at its best. Wherever you go in Burma, you get a slightly different version because, as Duguid explains, each region layers its own touches into the dish.

    Tasty sauces, chutneys, and relishes―essential elements of Burmese cuisine―will become mainstays in your kitchen, as will a chicken roasted with potatoes, turmeric, and lemongrass; a seafood noodle stir-fry with shrimp and mussels; Shan khaut swei, an astonishing noodle dish made with pea tendrils and pork; a hearty chicken-rice soup seasoned with ginger and soy sauce; and a breathtakingly simple dessert composed of just  sticky rice, coconut, and palm sugar.

    Interspersed throughout the 125 recipes are intriguing tales from the author’s many trips to this fascinating but little-known land. One such captivating essay shows how Burmese women adorn themselves with thanaka, a white paste used to protect and decorate the skin. Buddhism is a central fact of Burmese life: we meet barefoot monks on their morning quest for alms, as well as nuns with shaved heads; and Duguid takes us on tours of Shwedagon, the amazingly grand temple complex on a hill in Rangoon, the former capital. She takes boats up Burma’s huge rivers, highways to places inaccessible by road; spends time in village markets and home kitchens; and takes us to the farthest reaches of the country, along the way introducing us to the fascinating people she encounters on her travels.

    The best way to learn about an unfamiliar culture is through its food, and in Burma: Rivers of Flavor, readers will be transfixed by the splendors of an ancient and wonderful country, untouched by the outside world for generations, whose simple recipes delight and satisfy and whose people are among the most gracious on earth.

    The Food of Myanmar: Authentic Recipes from the Land of the Golden Pagodas

    By Claudia Saw Lwin Robert & Wendy Hutton

    Tuttle Publishing
    Released: 2014-02-04
    Paperback (120 pages)

    The Food of Myanmar: Authentic Recipes from the Land of the Golden Pagodas
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    Myanmar, or Burma as it was previously known, is a land of golden pagodas, mighty rivers and generous deltas. While the beauty of its countryside has long been famous, Myanmar's cuisine has been something of a secret up until now.

    Myanmar has over 130 ethnic groups and has been called a meeting point for peoples around Asia. This diversity is reflected in the various types of foods that are eaten around the country. This unique Burmese cookbook featuring over 60 recipes, collected from all over the country, reveals the treasures of Burmese cooking. Discover a cuisine that is unique yet acknowledges the culinary traditions of its great neighbors: China and India. Stunning photography coupled with detailed information on ingredients, as well as fascinating insights into the culture of this enigmatic land, make The Food of Myanmar the perfect companion for your adventure into Burmese cuisine.

    Learn to create such national favorites as:
    • Rice Noodles in Fish Soup
    • Tangy Kaffir Lime Salad
    • Hearty Pork Balls Cooked in Sweet Soya Bean Sauce
    • Sesame-topped Semolina Cake with Coconut
    • Floating Rice Dumplings

    The Burma Cookbook: Recipes from the Land of a Million Pagodas

    By Robert Carmack

    Carmack, Robert/ Polkinghorne, Morrison
    Hardcover (392 pages)

    The Burma Cookbook: Recipes from the Land of a Million Pagodas
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    Product Description:
    • 175 tested and proofed recipes, all authentic and easy to prepare
    • More than a cookbook: Introductory chapters about Myanmar and its history, plus specialty subject articles interspersed, from Tea Houses, Scott Market, Local Etiquette, and 2000-year old Shwe Dagon Pagoda
    • Historical quotes from contemporary travelers interspersed throughout
    • An illustrated glossary of local ingredients, with shopping substitutes for international readers
    • Recipe measurements interchangeable in metric, UK and US imperial
    • Because of the recipes' diversity, this is a cookbook for everyone: Europeans and Americans unfamiliar with Eastern ingredients, and equally for Asians wanting to explore Myanmar's authentic culinary influences
    • Edwardian cool & chic retro design, sumptuously illustrated and photographed

    A lavishly photographed cookbook and historic travelogue, tracing contemporary and colonial Burmese dishes over the past century. With its rich traditions of empire, The Burma Cookbook highlights the best of present-day Myanmar, including foods of its immigrant populations - from the subcontinent, down the Malay peninsula, and Britain itself. The authors spent some ten years researching the book, while organizing and hosting culinary tours to uncover the country's most popular dishes. The authors had exclusive access to The Strand Hotel's collection of historic menus, pictures and photos, while contemporary photography by Morrison Polkinghorne portrays Myanmar street life.

    The 15 Secret Family Treasured Traditional Burmese Recipes: Authentic cooking from the Asian Pacific Region

    By Maung Hla Win

    Maung Hla Win
    Released: 2013-08-19
    Kindle Edition (37 pages)

    The 15 Secret Family Treasured Traditional Burmese Recipes: Authentic cooking from the Asian Pacific Region
    Product Description:
    You are going to discover the secret family treasured traditional Burmese Recipes for the land of the Golden Pagodas in this Burmese cookbook. Myanmar (Burma) is now becoming a favourite place to visit and experience the food of the region and you are going to discover Burmese cooking.

    Burmese cuisine includes dishes from various regions of the Southeast Asian country of Burma (now officially known as Myanmar). Owing to the geographic location of Myanmar, Burmese Myanmar cuisine has been influenced by China, India and Thailand. The diversity of Myanmar's cuisine has also been contributed to by the myriad of local ethnic minorities. Burmese Myanmar food is characterized by extensive use of fish products like fish sauce and ngapi (fermented seafood).

    In this Burmese Cooking book you will discover Burmese Curry recipes where seafood is a common ingredient in coastal cities such as Sittwe, Kyaukpyu, Mawlamyaing (formerly Moulmein), Mergui (Myeik) and Dawei, while meat and poultry are more commonly used in landlocked cities like Mandalay. Freshwater fish and shrimp have been incorporated into Burmese Dishes recipes where inland cooking as a primary source of protein and are used in a variety of ways, fresh, salted whole or filleted, salted and dried, made into a salty paste, or fermented sour and pressed.

    Burmese cuisine recipes also includes a variety of salads (a thoke), centered on one major ingredient, ranging from starches like rice, wheat and Burmese Food recipes noodles, rice noodles, glass noodles and vermicelli, to potato, ginger, tomato, kaffir lime, lahpet (pickled tea leaves), and ngapi (fish paste). These salads have always been popular as Burmese Myanmar foods in Burmese cities.

    The 15 Secret Family Treasured Traditional Burmese Recipes is going to delight your taste buds as you cook the recipes. This book will show you the fastest way to enjoy the Burmese Myanmar cuisine.

    The Complete Asian Cookbook Series: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodida, Laos & Burma

    By Charmaine Solomon

    Brand: Hardie Grant Books
    Released: 2014-03-11
    Hardcover (216 pages)

    The Complete Asian Cookbook Series: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodida, Laos & Burma
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    A beautifully crafted and comprehensive cookbook series based on the most iconic and influential book on Asian cuisine. For generations, The Complete Asian Cookbook has been the most well-respected and authentic cookbook on Asian food. Since its publication in 1976, it has become one of the most iconic and influential cookbooks in publishing history, garnering a dedicated following worldwide. Now, for the first time, Charmaine Solomon's groundbreaking work has been divided into a series of six geographical regions, each with a complementary design so they may be collected as a set. Asian cuisine has a wonderful range of culinary delights that can be simple, complex, fiery, mild, and tantalizing. With page after page of beautiful, authentic Asian dishes, the recipes in The Complete Asian Cookbook series have been tested and re-tested to ensure the flavor and character of each dish is preserved. The labor-intensive traditional preparation methods have been cut back, making the recipes easy to follow for the home cook. Each book has an invaluable introduction to the food, culture, and cooking methods of the country as well as common ingredients. Learn to cook pork vindaloo, Thai green curry, crab with fresh Kampot peppercorns, steamed prawn dumplings, or delicious Peking duck. Filled with stunning food photography, The Complete Asian Cookbook series will guide you through the vast scope of Asian cuisine with authentic recipes that work every time. Start cooking tonight and dine abroad in the Asian country of your choice!

    Under the Golden Pagoda: The Best of Burmese Cooking

    By Aung Aung Taik

    Brand: Chronicle Books
    Paperback (224 pages)

    Under the Golden Pagoda: The Best of Burmese Cooking
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    Includes over 150 easy-to-follow recipes for appetizers, soups, poultry, meat, fish, shellfish, salads, vegetables, rice and desserts that reflect the best in Burmese cooking.

    Delicious Myanmar: Discover Myanmar Through its People and Food

    By Juan Gallardo

    Paperback (162 pages)

    Delicious Myanmar: Discover Myanmar Through its People and Food
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    Juan Gallardo is an ordinary tourist from Europe who found the food and people of Myanmar so simple and delicious he decided to tell the world about it.

    This book is the result of Juan’s amazing journey photographing the authentic Myanmar; Guided by recommendations from the indigenous people, Juan traveled across the country asking local people to cook him their favourite dishes.

    Naturally, he gained genuine, authentic first hand knowledge about their culture and customs.

    With this book Juan will take you all over Myanmar and teach you to cook with the real masters of Burmese cuisine: the locals.

    He will introduce you to interesting people from various religions, ethnic groups, and social classes. Be inspired by the most delicious dishes and be amazed by the beauty of Myanmar, the Golden Land. Filled with the hospitality and generosity of the local families, Delicious Myanmar is both a fantastic cookbook and a unique guide.

    You, too, will be fascinated. Enjoy!

    + Note: Locals cook without measuring out ingredients; therefore this is how the book is written.

    + Cookbook Award: 3rd place on "Best in the World Gourmand Awards 2016" in the "Asian published outside Asia" category. The 21st Gourmand World Cookbook Awards was celebrated on the 29th of May in Yantai, China, and awards the best cookbooks and wine books of the year 2015.

    + Reviews:

    Simon Richmond - Lonely Planet Myanmar: The best food in Myanmar is seldom found in restaurants and cafes; instead you’ll discover it in homes and at street stalls – as Juan Gallardo did. This admirable book documents Juan travels around the country from a culinary and cultural perspective. It’s packed with easy-to-follow recipes and mouth-watering photography, making it a great souvenir of a very special place.

    Khin Omar Win - Balloons Over Bagan: In a country where the equivalent of ‘hello’ is ‘have you eaten yet?’ Juan’s travels through Myanmar via it’s food makes for a great journey. Part photo journey, part travel blog, he meets the people behind the dishes and tells their stories. A terrific read and an inspiring way to travel.

    Jonah Fisher - BBC Myanmar: If this doesn’t whet your appetite to visit Myanmar nothing will. Packed full of pictures, recipes and ideas of where to go and crucially what to eat.

    @MrScottEddy - Entrepreneur/Public Speaker: The only way I can describe this book is ‘bookporn.’ This way he describes the food in Myanmar made me so hungry, I had to stop and eat before I finished it. I would highly recommend this to anyone who has interest in Southeast Asia.

    Jessica Mudditt - The Myanmar Times Most visitors to Myanmar are mystified by the country’s delicious and diverse cuisine, as it shares few commonalities with those in neighbouring countries. Juan Gallardo took no shortcuts in researching a wide variety of Burmese culinary creations – and the people behind them – in his quest to document traditional cooking techniques and the (often exotic) ingredients. The Spaniard traveled far and wide and often ventured into areas and communities rarely visited by tourists. Delicious Myanmar is a heart-warming book and a stunning visual documentary depicting the people, food and culture of Myanmar.

    Debbie Riehl - Burmese supper-club in London: A wonderful documentation of a traveller’s personal experience of Myanmar today. It is quite apparent from reading his book that Juan has fallen in love with the people, food and culture of Myanmar.

    Michal Merhaut - EcoBurma: Getting to know the specialities of local cuisine is one of the best and most interesting parts of travelling. The book “Delicious Myanmar” is unique in that it does not present us Burma from the perspective of the visitor to luxury five-star restaurants, far from everyday life, but rather from that of an inquisitive traveller who meets “ordinary” people who prepare unusually delicious meals.


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