Most of the country starts its day with Mohinga—a breakfast staple that is considered by many to be the national dish. Locals cook this rich fish soup that includes chickpeas, rice, garlic, onion, lemongrass and catfish in giant iron pots and serve it piping hot over noodles. The dish originated in Myanmar’s southern towns, where fresh fish is readily available, but visitors to northern territories can easily find this complex soup at food stands and local restaurants, where cooks will likely rely on fish paste for flavor.
Like many other Asian cuisines, traditional Burmese lunch and dinner typically starts with steamed rice. Smaller dishes, called hin, are served alongside the starch. These often include dried fish, curried meats and fresh or boiled vegetables with lime, chilies and pickled mangoes. Noodle salads are also popular, like Khauk swe thoke, which includes dried shrimp, carrots, fish sauce and shredded cabbage.
Traditionally, family elders are served first at mealtime as a sign of respect. And while Burmese eat with their right hand, chopsticks and spoons are also part of the daily place setting. Drinks are rarely served with meals, but when they are, it’s generally green tea.
Tours & Tickets
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