Myanmar Food: 15 Traditional Dishes You Should Eat

Jan 30, 2021

Welcome to Aventuras Naturales, your ultimate resource for travel and tourism in Myanmar! In this comprehensive guide, we invite you to dive deep into the vibrant food culture of this enchanting country. Myanmar, also known as Burma, is renowned for its diverse culinary traditions that have been influenced by neighboring countries such as China, Thailand, and India. Join us on a gastronomic adventure as we explore 15 traditional dishes that you absolutely must try during your visit to Myanmar.

1. Mohinga

Mohinga is Myanmar's national dish, often enjoyed for breakfast. This hearty rice noodle soup is made with a flavorful fish broth combined with lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and other aromatic spices. It is typically garnished with crispy fried fritters, sliced banana stem, and a squeeze of lime. Mohinga offers a perfect balance of flavors and is considered a staple in Burmese cuisine.

2. Shan Noodles

Originating from Shan State in eastern Myanmar, Shan noodles are a must-try delicacy. These flat rice noodles are typically served with a savory broth enriched with chicken or pork, topped with tender slices of meat, fried garlic, and dried chili flakes. The combination of flavors and textures makes Shan noodles a comforting and satisfying dish.

3. Laphet Thoke

One of Myanmar's most iconic salads, Laphet Thoke is a unique and flavorful dish made with fermented tea leaves. The tea leaves are mixed with various ingredients like chopped tomatoes, crunchy peanuts, fried garlic, and sesame seeds. The result is a refreshing and tangy salad that is often enjoyed as an appetizer or side dish.

4. Kachin-style Spicy Pork

Hailing from the Kachin State in northern Myanmar, this spicy pork dish is a culinary delight. Tender slices of pork are marinated in a fragrant blend of spices, including turmeric, ginger, and chili. The meat is then stir-fried with onions, tomatoes, and green chilies, resulting in a fiery explosion of flavors that will leave you craving more.

5. Ohn No Khao Swè

Frequently consumed as a comfort food, Ohn No Khao Swè is a popular Burmese dish consisting of chicken and coconut milk-based curry served over egg noodles. The aromatic curry is made with a medley of spices such as turmeric, coriander, and lemongrass, creating a delectable fusion of flavors. Toppings like crispy fried onions, lime wedges, and fresh cilantro complete this heartwarming dish.

6. Mandalay-style Mee Shay

Originating from Mandalay, the cultural heart of Myanmar, Mee Shay is a delightful noodle dish that showcases the region's culinary heritage. Thin rice noodles, mixed with a rich and savory gravy made from garlic, onions, soy sauce, and various spices, are topped with succulent slices of pork or chicken, fresh herbs, and crispy fried fritters. Each bite is a burst of flavors that will take you on a culinary journey through Mandalay.

7. Htamane

Celebrated during the Burmese harvest festival, Htamane is a sticky rice delicacy that is cooked in a large pot over an open fire. Glutinous rice is combined with peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, and jaggery (palm sugar) to create a sweet and nutty dish. Htamane is traditionally prepared and shared among communities as a symbol of unity and celebration.

8. Burmese Curry

Burmese curries are a staple in Myanmar's cuisine, offering a rich and aromatic experience for your taste buds. These curries are typically made with a variety of meats or vegetables, simmered in a fragrant blend of spices and aromatics such as ginger, garlic, onion, turmeric, and cumin. Each region in Myanmar has its own unique style of curry, ranging from mild and creamy to intensely spicy.

9. Ngapi

Ngapi, a traditional Myanmar condiment, is an essential part of Burmese cuisine. Made from fermented seafood, usually fish or shrimp, Ngapi adds a distinctive umami flavor to various dishes. It is often served as a dipping sauce alongside fresh vegetables, steamed rice, or incorporated into curries and salads.

10. Bein Mont

Bein Mont, also known as Burmese crêpe, is a popular street food item that can be found throughout Myanmar. These delectable savory pancakes are made from a batter of rice flour, turmeric, onions, and sometimes added vegetables. Bein Mont is typically served with a tangy tamarind dipping sauce and is a satisfying snack for any time of day.

11. Samosa

While samosas are commonly associated with Indian cuisine, these crispy triangular pastries have become a beloved snack in Myanmar as well. Myanmar's version of samosas generally features a filling of curried minced meat, potatoes, onions, and peas. The golden-brown crust provides a delightful crunch, making it an ideal street food to grab on the go.

12. Balachaung

Balachaung is a spicy and aromatic condiment that adds a burst of flavors to any dish. This relish is made by frying dried shrimp, garlic, shallots, and red chili in oil until crispy. It is commonly used as a topping or dip for noodles, rice, or enjoyed with fresh vegetables. Balachaung is a staple in Burmese households and offers a layer of complexity to various dishes.

13. Mont Lin Ma Yar

If you have a sweet tooth, then Mont Lin Ma Yar is a must-try dessert in Myanmar. These bite-sized glutinous rice balls are filled with jaggery and then deep-fried to a golden perfection. The resulting treat is a delightful combination of chewy and crispy textures, making it an irresistible dessert for locals and tourists alike.

14. Ngwe Saung Crab

Ngwe Saung, a beautiful coastal town in Myanmar, is renowned for its fresh and succulent crab dishes. Whether steamed, stir-fried, or cooked in a tangy chili sauce, the sweetness and tenderness of Ngwe Saung crab is unparalleled. Indulge in a seafood feast while enjoying the stunning beach views.

15. Kyat Tha

End your culinary journey through Myanmar with a refreshing glass of Kyat Tha, a traditional Burmese beverage. Made by mixing lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and soda water, Kyat Tha offers a delightful balance of tangy and creamy flavors. It is a perfect way to beat the heat and quench your thirst.

At Aventuras Naturales, we believe that food is an essential part of immersing yourself in the local culture while traveling. Our comprehensive guide to Myanmar's traditional dishes aims to provide you with a glimpse into the rich culinary heritage of this beautiful country. Explore the diverse flavors and indulge in these 15 must-try dishes during your visit to Myanmar. Let your taste buds lead you on an unforgettable gastronomic adventure!

Stephen Dunkie
I can't wait to try these mouthwatering dishes! 🤤
Nov 12, 2023
Raj Sharma
Yummm! 😋
Oct 14, 2023