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A huge pan full of roast chicken thighs and rice with side dishes all around it

Best Burmese recipes

Published: November 25, 2020 at 12:06 pm
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Create a Burmese-inspired feast at home with some of our favourite recipes, from The Rangoon Sisters' pork wontons to MiMi Aye's Burmese chicken pilaf

Looking for Burmese recipes? Want to explore Burmese food and cuisine? Try our ideas and twists here.

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Make a spread of spiced snacks with The Rangoon Sisters (half Burmese sisters Emily and Amy Chung)'s Burmese fried chicken and pork wontons with a twist. Then take time to prepare Burmese supper club host MiMi Aye's showstopping danbauk, typically served on special occasions in Burma, or try Darina Allen's pork and potato curry.

Not spotted your favourite Burmese dish? Do you know an awesome Burmese chef or food writer that you’d like to see featured here? Email us or contact us on social media at @olivemagazine to let us know!


Menu decoder

Fish sauce

Small fish are packed into wooden barrels with salt to ferment, allowing bacteria to break down the fish and creating a savoury condiment.

Cassava

A starchy, tubular root vegetable that is native to South America.

Betel leaves

These are heart-shaped leaves with a fresh, peppery taste that are used in a variety of ways throughout Asia.

Jaggery

This is a form of sugar made by evaporating the water from sugarcane juice or palm sap.


Best Burmese recipes

Burmese coconut noodles with chicken

This recipe for ohn-no kauk swé, a brothy, coconut-laced dish, is flavoured with chilli, ginger, paprika and fish sauce. This recipe comes from Burmese restaurant Lahpet in Covent Garden, London.


Burmese grilled aubergine

This side dish comes from Burmese restaurant Laphet sees grilled aubergine dressed with shallot, chilli, lime and roasted peanuts. It it really packs a punch in terms of flavour and texture.


Burmese cassava cake

Cassava – a starchy root vegetable – is the star of this five-ingredient cake from Burmese restaurant Laphet. It's served with jackfruit sorbet in the restaurant, but is great with ice cream or cream, too.

Cassava cake topped with jackfruit sorbet

Burmese margarita

Check out this zingy riff on a classic margarita. To make the jaggery syrup, mix one part jaggery with one part water in a pan, bring to the boil, then cool.

Burmese margarita garnished with a green leaf in a salt-rimmed glass

Burmese fried chicken (kyet thar kyaw)

The Rangoon Sisters (half Burmese sisters Emily and Amy Chung) have been wowing their supper club diners with Burmese-inspired dishes since 2013 – here they share their take on a popular street food from Burma. Burmese fried chicken is seasoned with chilli and turmeric, and traditionally served on the bone without a batter. In 2015, Yangon saw the arrival of the first branch of the big international fried chicken joint we all know and love, to huge queues. The sour dipping sauce (achin yay) packs a punch and goes particularly well with fried snacks. If you can’t get hold of tamarind pulp, you can substitute it with a teaspoon of ready-made tamarind paste mixed with 100ml of hot water.

Kyet thar kyaw (Burmese fried chicken)

Crispy pork wontons

Crunchy and hot with a sweet and tangy sauce, these crispy wontons were always a part of the festive season at Emily and Amy Chung's Chinese-Burmese childhood home. The Rangoon Sisters have added a Burmese-inspired twist to the filling and the sauce, to pay homage to both parents (their mum being from Myanmar).

Crispy pork wontons on a table with chopsticks and a bowl of dipping sauce

Burmese chicken pilaf (danbauk)

A fragrant chicken pilaf, danbauk is served at countless celebrations in Burma. This recipe comes from MiMi Aye, a chef, author and host of the Burmese Food & Beyond supperclub. Full of sweet and warming spices, danbauk is often referred to as a Burmese biryani, but it owes more to Persian cuisine and, in fact, the name is derived from the Persian culinary term ‘dum pukht’. All cooked in one huge pot, it is served with great aplomb at the table, with a feast of crispy fish relish (floss), Burmese-style coleslaw, and refreshing sour soup on the side, all of which balance the buttery richness of the rice. Drinks are generally not served during a Burmese meal – instead, liquid refreshment comes as a broth or soup.

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A huge pan full of roast chicken thighs and rice with side dishes all around it

Burmese pork and potato curry

Treat your friends and family and cook this punchy Burmese curry recipe from food writer and chef Darina Allen, with tender pork belly and soft waxy potatoes. This easy dish may take a bit of time but it will be well worth the wait.

Burmese Pork Curry Recipe with Potato

Want to learn more about Burmese food? Listen to our podcast with The Rangoon Sisters

Rangoon Sisters plus their yellow cookbook

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