In spite of some of the political strife in years past and strained foreign relations with the West, the people of Myanmar are friendly, and embrace their diverse range of indigenous cultures, largely influenced by Buddhism and Buddhist practices, along with hints of crossover between both China and India.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of this country, however, is its unique cuisine. Before you get your Myanmar eVisa and go for a visit, prepare yourself with some facts about a diverse fare that includes much more than just rice and noodles.
That isn't to say rice doesn't factor into the meals in Myanmar; it's actually quite popular. As a staple that makes up 75% of the people's diet, it is cooked and served with various meats, fish, salads and vegetables, all prepared in their own special ways and providing a diverse tapestry of flavor.
Curry is an important side component used to complement different styles of meat (especially pork, shrimp, and beef), and the importance of soup cannot be overstated. It is regarded as an essential component of meals in Myanmar thought to help enhance the appetite. Like everything else, soups can come in many varieties. Sweet, spicy, bitter, and sour broths are available to suit many tastes.
Quite often, there meats and vegetables mixed right into the soup, along with other notes like chili powder or some additional spice.
What are some of the country's stand out dishes?
There's Shan-Style Rice (also known as Fish Rice) that mixes cooked rice and fish, along with leek roots, garlic, and some oil. Don’t forget Mohinga, a broth and noodle dish that's a hit at breakfast, but can be enjoyed any time.
Nangyi Thoke is a tourist favorite dry noodle dish that includes thick noodles, along with chicken, fish, bean sprouts and a hard-boiled egg. Then there's the ever popular Tea Leaf Salad (Laphet Thoke), the king of Burmese dishes.
The dish is composed of pickled tea leaves, roasted peanuts and beans, sesame seeds, fried garlic, and a bit of dried shrimp and chopped tomato. When served, the component ingredients are separated into different piles so that diners can pick out different amounts of what they want at the time. To each, their own!
This is an important feature in Myanmar, where most eating spaces are intimate, featuring low tables where individuals sit on the floor during meals. Most often, all dishes are served at the same time, as opposed to course by course, and everything is washed down with a glass of water or green tea. Diners choose small portions of the dishes they want and eat bit by bit.
Though it has been long overlooked in the world of renowned cuisine, Myanmar holds secret gems, a synthesis of Indian, Chinese, and local Burmese flavor that marks it high as one of the most unique culinary destinations around. Apply for a Myanmar eVisa today to open the doors to flavorful wonder.