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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

    Brand: Artisan
    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.

    Burma Superstar: Addictive Recipes from the Crossroads of Southeast Asia


    Ten Speed Press
    Released: 2017-03-28
    Hardcover (272 pages)

    Burma Superstar: Addictive Recipes from the Crossroads of Southeast Asia
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    From the beloved San Francisco restaurant, a mouthwatering collection of recipes, including Fiery Tofu, Garlic Noodles, the legendary Tea Leaf Salad, and many more. Never before have the vivid flavors of Burmese cooking been so achievable for home cooks.

    Known for its bustling tables, the sizzle of onions and garlic in the wok, and a wait time so legendary that customers start to line up before the doors even open—Burma Superstar is a Bay Area institution, offering diners a taste of the addictively savory and spiced food of Myanmar. With influences from neighboring India and China, as well as Thailand and Laos, Burmese food is a unique blend of flavors, and Burma Superstar includes such stand-out dishes as the iconic Tea Leaf Salad, Chili Lamb, Pork and Pumpkin Stew, Platha (a buttery layered flatbread), Spicy Eggplant, and Mohinga, a fish noodle soup that is arguably Myanmar’s national dish.

    Each of these nearly 90 recipes has been streamlined for home cooks of all experience levels, and without the need for special equipment or long lists of hard-to-find ingredients. Stunningly photographed, and peppered with essays about the country and its food, this inside look at the world of Burma Superstar presents a seductive glimpse of this jewel of Southeast Asia.

    The Burmese Kitchen: Recipes from the Golden Land

    By Copeland Marks

    M. Evans & Company
    Released: 1994-09-08
    Paperback (276 pages)

    The Burmese Kitchen: Recipes from the Golden Land
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    The delicious cuisine of Myanmar (Burma) is made accessible to the home cook by the esteemed Copeland Marks. This book is a treasure that shines a light on the unsung cuisine that marries the flavors of China, India and Thailand with mouthwatering results.

    My Burmese Cookbook: Part 1

    By MyintMyint Soe

    Released: 2014-11-20
    Paperback (162 pages)

    My Burmese Cookbook: Part 1
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    This is a book about the wonderfully rich and vibrant cuisine of Myanmar. Myanmar has recently opened up to the world but very little is known about its cuisine. Although the country is situated between China, Bangladesh, India and Thailand, its cuisine is subtly different but yet has influences from all those countries. The recipes in my book are written for both beginners and experienced cooks alike with clear instructions. The book provides measurements in metric system and recipes are easy to follow. My Cookbook Part 1 and 2 are one of those rare books with recipes on much-loved Myanmar cuisine. They will give you great happiness and enjoyment among families and friends for years to come.

    Authentic Burmese Dishes: Cooking With Markus (This Is The Real Burma Book 5)

    By Markus Burman

    Markus Burman
    Released: 2016-07-22
    Kindle Edition (161 pages)

    Authentic Burmese Dishes: Cooking With Markus (This Is The Real Burma Book 5)
    Product Description:
    Mingalabar! Hello and a warm welcome to Burma. My name is Markus Burman and I am excited to share with you authentic Burmese recipes. I am living and working since more than 25 years in this country. I was already here when tanks were rolling on the streets, shots were fired, demonstrators and journalists killed and peaceful demonstrations crushed with brutal force. There is hardly a foreigner here who has been living permanently in Burma, since 1989 also called Myanmar, longer than I do. This has made me an authority on the subject of Burma what includes the Burmese kitchen. That's why I have written this Burmese Cookbook. I may not get Michelin stars and not get into the Michelin Guide because I have no restaurant, I may also not succeed in convincing Paul Bocuse that he has to put at least one of my dishes on his menu (well, I did not yet try) and Burmese cuisine certainly isn't exactly what can be called nouvelle cuisine but I know that the recipes in this book will put you in a position to create wonderful, exotic meals. Have a lot of fun with cooking Markus Burman's recipes and enjoy your meals alone, with family or in the company of good friends. It will in any case be a success story and people will love you even more. OK, let's turn our attention to this book.

    No doubt, it is a terrific Burmese cookbook but I am convinced that recipes alone do not make a really interesting cookbook. It needs some additional information (historical and otherwise) to - in a manner of saying - add some spices to them. In other words, in order to better 'understand' and appreciate what you are cooking and eating it is necessary to have some background knowledge. So, here comes some history of Burmese cooking, Burmese dishes and their origins as well as Burmese eating habits.

    At first glance it seems to be clear what Burmese cuisine is; it is that what Burmese people are cooking and eating. But taking a closer look reveals that things are not quite as clear as they seem to be. Burma is in many aspects a land of great diversity. There are many different ethnic groups such as the Mon, Shan, Kachin, Chin, Karen, Rakhine, Bamar, etc. And as diverse as the country's ethnicity is its cuisine. In other words, 'Burmese (Myanmar)' cuisine is just a catch-all term. What is called 'Burmese' cuisine is actually the sum total of the many different local (regional) cuisines and the cuisines of the bordering countries Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand for ethnic groups and their cuisines do not know clear cut and in historical terms relatively recently by humans more or less arbitrary drawn borders.

    Depending on what kinds of agricultural produce are available, as well as what local and regional flora and fauna have to offer many dishes with the same name are different in taste. Is it a coastal region, is the natural environment mountainous or flat, are there rivers, is it dry and arid or marshy and wet, is it hot, is it temperate, is it cold, is the ground sandy or rocky, what is the quality of the soil, how much water for irrigation is available? These and many other things about which I will tell you in this book are determining factors for what the respective local cuisine has to offer and how it tastes.

    The Modern Salad: Innovative New American and International Recipes Inspired by Burma's Iconic Tea Leaf Salad

    By Elizabeth Howes

    Ulysses Press
    Hardcover (112 pages)

    The Modern Salad: Innovative New American and International Recipes Inspired by Burma s Iconic Tea Leaf Salad
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    Bursting with bold flavors, hearty ingredients, crunchy textures and brilliant colors—the salads in this book are a feast for your senses. The Modern Salad serves up protein- and superfood-rich recipes that are artfully presented in a deconstructed format, including:

    • The Charcuterie Board Salad with Mustard-Maple Vinaigrette

    • Grilled Peach and Corn Salad with Lemongrass-Shallot Vinaigrette

    • Rainbow Carrot and Crispy Pita Salad with Coriander Vinaigrette

    •Summer Fig and Caramelized Onion Salad with Aged Balsamic Reduction

    • Grilled Calamari Salad with Spicy Kimchi Vinaigrette

    • Masala Chai Braised Pork and Garlic Udon Salad

    Professional chef Elizabeth Howes takes inspiration from the super-popular Burmese tea leaf salad to create innovative dishes perfectly suited for America’s farm-to-table ingredients.

    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.

    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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    For generations The Complete Asian Cookbook has been the most well-respected and authentic cookbook on Asian food. Since 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.

    In Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Burma, the reader will find an invaluable introduction to the food, culture, and cooking methods of these countries, as well as common ingredients. Learn to cook steamed sesame and coconut fish, Thai red curry of duck with pineapple and lychees, or a green mango salad. Try your hand at Cambodian caramelized pepper pork, chicken with ginger shreds, or the delicious national dish of Vietnam, pho.

    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!


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