This weekend we enjoyed food from Myanmar. I was looking forward to it with all the different ingredients we were using, some quite different than anything we’d used yet. This time we made a salad, two main dishes, and a dessert.
The salad we needed to start early and should really have started it even sooner than we did. This Lahpet, pickled or fermented tea leaves, was to sit for at least a few days ahead and ferment.
To start we cut into nearly 50 bags of green tea and then steeped it in hot water for 10 minutes. This was strained and then rinsed and strained a couple of times in cold water. Ashaya took the tea from the first run of hot water and tried drinking it as she loves green tea, only to spit it out and declare she was never drinking green tea again. It was a wee bit strong.
Once this was finished we added it to a bowl with chopped cabbage, scallions, cilantro, ginger, garlic, and the zest and juice of two limes. This sat out from Friday evening to Sunday late afternoon. Unfortunately it needed to ferment more, so we’ll have to try the salad again in a few days.
This mix was added to cabbage, toasted sesame seeds, roasted peanuts, fried garlic, tomato, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce. We didn’t get to add the fried yellow split peas as they were supposed to be soaked overnight, which we missed. There was such a small amount of this in the dish that we didn’t worry about it.
We didn’t really taste the Lahpet portion of the Lahpet Thoke, and the lime was overpowering, but it didn’t seem too bad. I think we’ll try this again with much less lime if any. We will also make sure the Lahpet is fully fermented.
The first main we had was Curried Chicken. This dish was described as one that is a combination of India and China and I was intrigued. We began by heating turmeric in oil for a short time, then adding onion until it was limp. Next we added cayenne, garam masala, cooking for a minute before adding the chicken. We added the cinnamon, bay leaf, and chicken broth and simmered for 25 minutes.
After simmering we added chick pea flour and water, then coconut milk and cooked for a further 30 minutes. Just before serving we added fish sauce. This curry was served with Chinese egg noodles with hard boiled eggs, red onions, green onions, lime wedges, and coriander as condiments.
Most of us enjoyed this, though a couple weren’t sure. I enjoyed the slightly different taste with the Asian flavours in the fish sauce and cinnamon. This smelled so good as it simmered away, but the taste wasn’t as flavourful as I thought it would be. Once again, though eggs aren’t something I generally think of adding to such a dish, I quite enjoyed this combination. This is something we will be making again.
https://asian-recipe.com/burma-meat-dishes-1652#curry Look for the second recipe on the page, the Burmese Chicken Curry.
Our other main was the Spicy Mango Rice. To make this we cooked the rice earlier and set it aside to cool. Then in a wok I sautéed rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, and chili pepper seeds. We cooked the peppers until softened, and then added the rice and tamari. This was cooked until heated through and then we added the mango, frozen peas, and peanuts. This was served with green onion and lime as garnish.
This was tasty, though not as spicy as I thought it would be. I held back on the chilies as I don’t like spice, but I definitely could have added more. I think I will be making this again, with a bit more of the spices.
Dessert was Mont Lone Yay Paw, similar in my mind to mochi. To make this we took the rice flours (glutinous and regular), added a bit of salt, and mixed it with water. This was mixed until a dough was formed. I tried adding food colouring as suggested but it didn’t seem to mix well. I’m not fully sure what the dough should have been like, but I think mine was a bit dry as it wasn’t as pliable as I think it should have been.
This dough was formed into a circle and a small amount of jaggery was placed inside. We then formed this into a ball that was placed in boiling water where it cooked until it rose to the surface, indicating it was done. When it was done we sprinkled it with coconut.
These were okay, though the dough was not very sweet. I would like to try these with another filling sometime and see how they are. The mochi is definitely a sweeter dough, though a similar texture. These were quite easy to make though and will be a great starting point for experimenting.
Did you know that Karen is an important ethnic group in Myanmar? They prefer to carry things on their heads and driving is chaotic there, having changed the road rules overnight in 1970.
Did you know that these days are sad days in Myanmar? They are experiencing a great uprising from the military. They have arrested all political leaders as they believe the election was rigged. There are children hiding, afraid for their lives as military will take them and drug them, using them in awful ways. Hundreds are missing and thousands are fleeing. People are dying daily.
Please join us in praying for this country, a nation in the midst of our worst nightmares. Pray that the truth will become evident and that peace would one day reign once more.