20 Scrumptious Burmese Foods: Take a Bite of Burma (Myanmar)!

I was full the entire time I was in Yangon, Burma (Myanmar), and though I attempted, unfortunately I wasn’t able to eat everything the city had to offer. Just like the Bangkok street food, Yangon is yet another example of a SE Asian city where food is a top priority and street food is out of control!

1. Mohinga

At the forefront of Burmese cuisine is the famous dish of mohinga, a bowl of rice noodles covered in a fish based soup and sprinkled with deep fried fritters. Mohinga is a breakfast of champions!

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Mohinga, Brumese Cuisine

2. Burmese Biryani

When I caught a glimpse of a restaurant called “Ambrosia Biryani,” there was absolutely no way I was going to get myself to walk past without sampling. Unfortunately the the biryani was a bit cold, having the appearance of yesterday’s ambrosia, but it was still tasty!

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Burmese Biryani

3. Burmese Naan Flat-bread and Pe Byouk

The bread is a form of Burmese Indian style naan, pulled straight out of a clay pot cooking device. Pe Byouk is what I believe to be a form of boiled peas. The vendor normally bagged the beans and added a torn up naan on top – to go. Since I ate on spot, I requested the burrito version of this hearty protein rich morning snack.

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Paratha and Pe Byouk

4. Rice and Burmese Curry

Rice and a few accompanying curries and vegetables is a common meal of Burmese cuisine. The curries are mildly flavored, but they are pleasing and go extremely well with a plate (or 5) of rice.

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Typical Burmese Cuisine

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Okra, Cauliflower, and Bean Sprouts

5. Beans, Onions, Pumpkin

Beans, onions, and tomatoes dressed in oil and salt (left), mild pumpkin curry (right)

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Beans, Onions, Pumpkin

6. Burmese Fish Curry

A greasy, but unbelievable curry medley of fish.

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Burmese Fish Curry

7. Garnish Salads

Vegetables with a fermented fish sauce (left) and chili flake sauce (right).

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Burmese Salad

8. Form of Khaosay Thote

A form of noodles hand mixed with a flavorful chili sauce and eaten with cloves of garlic and chilies (left), Fresh Burmese spring rolls (right)

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Burmese Noodles

9. Deep Fried Stuffed Tofu

Deep fried and stuffed with some cabbage, chilies and a special sauce made this tofu roll a single bite wonder!

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Burmese Stuffed Tofu Roll

10. Sticky Rice With Shredded Coconut

I’ll admit, I was extremely excited my first day in Yangon, Burma, and I had no idea what I was ordering. I saw some sticky rice and jumped at the opportunity to order it. This is what I got, and though I had no idea what I was supposed to mix and match, just like everything else it was delicious.

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Sticky Rice, Yangon, Burma

11. Selection of Mouthwatering Burmese Salads

(Clockwise from top-left corner)

  • Laphet Thohk – pickled tea leaf salad
  • Lemon Salad – entirely made from red onions and lemon pulp
  • Gyin Thohk – pickled ginger mixed salad
  • Tofu Thohk – Tofu salad
  • Another Lemon Pulp Salad
  • Tomato and Cabbage Salad
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Amazing Burmese Salads

12. Laphet Thohk – Green Tea Salad

It’s a famed dish, a salad made from pickled tea leaves. Apparently Burma  is one of only a few countries in the world that drinks and eats tea leaves. The texture of the salad was unique, a adoring combination of soft, crunchy, crispy, and saucy. I could eat this salad constantly for days.

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Laphet Thohk, Burmese Green Tea Salad

13. Burmese Indian Thali Mixed Platter

There’s not a lot in this world that is as enticing to me as an all-you-can eat meal. Thali is an Indian mixed dish cuisine that is served on a metal platter. Rice is scooped out of buckets and the food party doesn’t stop until the customer is fully satisfied!

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Burmese Thali

14. Goat Testicles

Along with a Thali, there’s an opportunity to order a number of accompanying curries and sides. We got a duo-pari of goat testicles, and though the flavor was quite appetizing, their mushiness was reminiscent of chunks of pure lard.

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Goat Testicle Curry, Yangon, Burma

15. Burmese Indian Dosa

I’ve been a huge fan of dosas for many years of my life, so when I scoped this street side dosa stand, there was no hesitation. The dosa was made on an iron skillet over fiery flames emitted by the burning of dry wood. The curry was smooth and the pancake did an excellent job of sopping up everything till the final drip.

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Burmese Dosa

16. Grilled Fish in Chinatown, Yangon

This grilled fish left me speechless, stunned, and overjoyed. It was so lip-licking delicious that I dreamed about it at night and my body was willingly forced to dine here 3 nights in a row!

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Unbelievable Grilled Fish in Chinatown, Yangon, Burma

17. Vegetables in Chinatown

Skewers of grilled garlic and okra (left) a plate of stir fried pumpkin leaves (right)

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Vegetables - Burmese Cuisine

18. Mala Hin

Glorious vegetables in a spicy bean paste

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Stir Fried Vegetables Mix, Yangon, Burma

19. Stuffed Pork Skewer

Marinated pork stuffed with straw mushrooms and green peppers

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Stuffed Pork Kebab, Burmese Food

20. Burmese Falooda

The Burmese version of the falooda is sweet and stunning (similar to the Indian version)!

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Burmese Falooda

I’m nowhere near a Burmese food expert, but I can safely say that I enjoyed everything I ate in Yangon!

Have you sampled any Burmese foods? Any Burmese foodies out there?

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Comments

  1. says

    Why oh why did I read your post just before I eat dinner?! I’m so hungry now – although I’m not too sure about those goat testicles. I’d try them – they’re just not tempting me too much. :)
    Julia

    • says

      Hey Julia, I’m sure you were able to come up with something delicious for dinner too! Yah, the testicles are definitely not an everyday eat, just for the entertainment value of it!

  2. says

    Good stuff! All of this food is delicious!

    A couple of corrections: 18 looks a lot like Mala Hin, a wonderful Shan dish. 3 doesn’t look like the Burmese Parata, it looks like Naan, which would make the typical breakfast of Bepyouk Namya (sp?): beans and naan bread.

    Yum!

  3. Tijmen says

    The salads at 11 and 12 looks so tasty. Sometimes it’s better not to know what you are eating, like with the goat testicles :)

  4. says

    I’m half Burmese and growing up, my mother would cook Burmese food all the time. I love the cuisine and home-cooked Burmese food is the one thing I miss the most in my travels!

    • says

      That sounds great, and I definitely know the power of home cooking! I’m sure when you return form travels, you are greeted with awesome Burmese feasts!

  5. Matt says

    Great post, Mark! Yangon had the absolute best papaya I’ve ever had. Made Thai papaya seem bland. Did you try any?

    • says

      Dude, I did and I thought the same thing – also with the watermelon. I did discover that the vendor was dipping the fruit in an orange sweet juice to make it sweeter, but I returned the following day and told her not to dip it in the juice, and it was still amazing! Did you see any orange juice on the bag with your papaya?

  6. ayngelina says

    I love discovering this part of the world through food on your site, my favourite travel food site.

    • says

      Awesome! Thanks so much Ayngelina, hoping to see you in this area of the world in the future – for some all-out porky smorgasbord indulgence!

  7. jamie - cloud people adventures says

    i have eaten A LOT of asian food over my years, but must admit i dont think ive ever eaten burmese. looks delish! especially like the look of the fish curry and the green tea salad. off to eat dinner!

    • says

      Hey Jamie!
      Thai food and Indian food are 2 of my favorite cuisines, so as a cross-junction between the 2, I was fascinated with Burmese food. I’m sure you would enjoy it!

  8. Jeremy B says

    Mark, you did an awesome job of capturing these foods. I think I would try the goat testicles but would vote for the curry as my favorite.

  9. inka says

    I read this on an empty stomach, Mark. Guess what my left hand is holding now whilst I try not to make too many typos with my right.

  10. says

    Ok, Mark….the Food Network or the Travel Channel needs to hire you. Your taste buds must have sonar to locate and the most fascinating and unique foods in the world. I’ll end it with this….poor goat.

    • Ben Marasigan says

      Add to that the very friendly people. Im a filipino, and we are reputed to be very friendly, but i can say that the myanmar people is more friendly. Give the country a couple more years and it will be a major tourist destination. I suggest you go and visit. Mark will agree with me that this blog is not enough to describe the beauty of the country. :)

  11. Tun Tun says

    Great collection of burmese food. I am kind of person like try different kind of food and post in blog.

    thank for sharing.

  12. says

    I will say AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME..All the street food mouse watering, I miss Burma, I am Burmese, but living in abroad for more than 10 years. I am going back to visit next month, can’t wait to try out all those food. I wanna eat goat testicle curry, there still has another dish in those Indian restaurant, that will be goat brain curry. Grilled fish is one of my fave food too. Well, too many food to try out. A lot of my fave food are in your list as well. By the way, I have watched your youtube video of Yangon trip too

    • says

      Thank you so much Zinnia. So glad that you will be able to visit Burma soon – and get some more great food. I really appreciate you taking a look at my site and watching the Yangon video – Thanks. Hope you have a wonderful trip and I look forward to hearing about what you ate!

    • Ben Marasigan says

      You have a great country Zinnia. I have so much respect for the people and the culture. I lived there for 3 months back in 2011 and I instantly fell in love with Myanmar. Up to now im still dreaming of going back.

  13. Les says

    Wonderdul photos. Do you remember where you had that delicious looking fish in Chinatown? I’ll be in Yangon soon

    • says

      Hey Les,
      I don’t remember the exact location, but while walking down the main street in Yangon, you’ll get to Chinatown, then you make a right onto a small street (and it’s known for its fish), and then about 100 meters down the road on the left side of the street is the restaurant I ate at. Hope you can find it, it was really really good!

  14. says

    Thanks for such a great round-up. We picked up our visas for Myanmar today, and I was looking for some street food inspiration – we’ll definitely be searching out the fish in Chinatown

  15. Norah says

    Hello Mark!

    Great information given on Burmese food! Thanks a lot for that! But since you mentioned that you didn’t manage to try many other Burmese food, may be you should visit once more and share more here :) I’ll definitely be waiting for that! =D

  16. says

    Hello,

    We were travelling in Myanmar for 27 days and we enjoyed their street food. We especially liked their morning snack, -like a churros- that you put in your tea. We are deseperately looking at how to make the batter of these. Do you have any idea?

    Many thanks in advance.
    Cheers

    Tanguy

    • says

      Hello Tanguy, great to hear you traveled around Myanmar and enjoyed the food so much. I’m really not sure how to make those donuts, but I’m sure there are some great recipes if you do a little searching! Enjoy!

  17. says

    I just got back from Myanmar and while I found a lot of the food to be delicious (and the fruit was cheaper then in Thailand) I found that I had to be careful with what I ordered.

    I’m an adventurous eater and I don’t shy away from street food that looks a little ‘iffy’ but a lot of the fried dishes in the country are just dripping with grease and oil. All the excess oil really messed with my health so I learned to really watch what I ate.

    • says

      Hey Will, thanks for sharing and glad you had a good time in Myanmar. I fully agree with you about oil and grease – I normally try to eat lesser oily dishes as well – but when it’s curry it’s tough. Glad you enjoyed the food!

      • Ben Marasigan says

        They usually use peanut oil which is really heavy and becomes very hard and soap like substance (minus the slipperiness). Lived for 3 months in Yangoon and I had to buy olive oil for my cooking. Im a filipino and the food preparation and presentation is kinda similar but more greasy. Nonetheless, i love it!

  18. Ben Marasigan says

    Lived in Myanmar for 3 months 2 years ago. I miss the place so much specially the food. Good job on this article. Makes me want to come back :(

  19. David says

    wow my mom makes the best mohinga. She has a great palate and cooks the best burmese food. Living in New Orleans my whole life she makes some great cajun dishes too. Its very odd to see an article about the food i’ve been eating my whole life . Usually people have no clue about food like this.

  20. Mimi says

    We just returned from Myanmar… amazing country, Yangon is wonderful! I am looking for the recipe for the delicious peanut crepes, made with rice flour, we bought from a street vendor outside Scot’s Market… anyone? The vendor had this sweet one and another savory one with coriander, I believe.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Can I emphasize again how wonderful it was to sample the street food stalls throughout the country? The Burmese were friendly and fun throughout every meal, and Ana and I felt immersed in the culture packed into tiny stools, crouching and eating among the locals. This is where the conversations happened, we watched what other people ordered, flocked to the crowded places, and enjoyed the accidental orders when what we got didn’t measure up to what we expected (in fact, there are still at least three or four meals I ate for which I have no name, nor any idea how to re-order it!). Ana ate veg for a lot of our travels (by choice), but meat options abound. If you’re traveling Burma with a meat-eating friend, check out these two food guides: here and here. [...]

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