On the last day of the month May, I had the Taste of Burma on my mind. Gathered a couple of girls, the group was growing and 6 confirmed of the 11 asked. Eventually, due to circumstances, 2 had to cancel at the last minute. 😔 They did miss out!
I wanted to share our well spend evening at Azteca’s Exotic Foods with you. Hope you enjoy the read, as much as we did the food. Imagine the taste if possible 😉.
On the menu
- Hibiscus Punch (Alcoholic or Virgin version)
- Sour Leaf Soup
- Okra with Tomato Relish
- Rainbow Salad
- Chin Corn Soup
- Shan Noodles
- Spicy Eggplant
- Coconut Chicken Curry
- Chayote with Dried Shrimp
- Fiery Tofu – Chili Lamb –
- Tea Leaf Salad – (Laphet Thoke)
- Pumpkin Pork Stew & Ginger Salad
- Tomato Shrimp Curry
- Semolina cake & Black Rice Pudding
- Myanmar Tea
Hibiscus Punch (Alcoholic and Virgin version)
There are a few hundred species of Hibiscus 🌺 plants and they occur everywhere in warm regions. In Suriname we mainly enjoy the Angalampoes, beautiful flowers in the garden, but in Myanmar (Burma), Hibiscus is also used in drinks and in the food. The evening was opened with a Hibiscus Punch (Alcoholic or Virgin) and continue with a well-known Burmese soup. In Suriname, we know the hibiscus as Soeroe/Suru. It is mostly drunk as a sirup or juice.
Sour sauce Leaf Soup
Sour Leaf Soup, or as they call it in Myanmar: Chin Baung Hin Yay. If you just drank from the hibiscus plant, it is now time to eat from the same plant. The soup is a fish broth with hibiscus leaves. In Myanmar it is often eaten as a light lunch or as part of a larger menu like tonight.
Okra with Tomato Relish
When you relax after a hot day in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar until 2006 (now the capital Naypyidaw), then 19th street seems to be the place. There are a lot of street vendors around you and the smells of Burmese food overwhelms you. Grilled vegetables might be offered this way, the grill gives the vegetables a meaty savory taste. Below grilled okra on a Tomato Relish bed.
Laat Raw Htway Sote, literally translated as the salad that you mix by hand. Of course you do not have to do it with your hands, but at the edge of the plate you have all the ingredients to mix your own salad, the intention of this salad is to enjoy different tastes and textures.
Chin Corn Soup
There are more than recognized 135 ethnicities in Myanmar, which are officially classified into 8 groups, including the Chin. In addition, there are groups that do not have Burmese citizenship, among which especially the Rohingya people have ended up in a degrading crisis since 2016. The dish that you now see, each family of the Chin ethnicity makes its own version, the salsa you see is the soul of the soup, a combination of beans and corn and 2 variants of what we know in Suriname as clarion but then the Asian versions. Throw the salsa over the soup and enjoy a great meal.
Shan Khaut Swe, A dish typical of the Shan, one of the 8 ethnic groups, you would definitely be recommended in Yangon by your tour guide. Original from the Shan state, near the border with Thailand and China. Sometimes the dish is served almost all Pho with lots of broth, presented here is the dry version. A simple dish where the star is the home made pickled Gai Choy.
Normally the curry style eggplant is served as a side dish, in Myanmar they love the little bitter eggplant, and they even eat raw. Presented on this plate is the Japanese aubergines combined with Thai peppers.
Coconut Chicken Curry
Special in this dish is that in the taste of the simple curry, you taste both India and China, after the spicy eggplant, we present a soft chicken curry, the masala and fish sauce make the taste perfect.
Chayote with Dried Shrimp
For this second half of the menu, we open with the thought that time and again it appears that some things are more universal than we would think. The dish below is not unknown in Suriname. Cayotte (sukwa) with dried shrimp 🦐 we could also cook at home, but here’s the Burmese variety. It is a small world after all.
Fiery Tofu & Chili Lamb
Asian Spicyness, from the wok you are served a lot of peppers, on the one hand tahoe, beans and sambal oelek, and on the other side lamb with cumin and black mustard seeds and peppers, Chinese roots, in a burmese jacket.
Tea Leaf Salad – (Laphet Thoke)
Myanmar lies between India and China in the area where tea originates, it is one of the few countries in the world where tea is both drunk and eaten. One of Myanmar’s best-kept secrets from the mountains between Thailand and China is the fermented green tea. Laphet. For you a salad, press the limes over the salad and mix to your heart’s content.
Pumpkin Pork Stew & Ginger salad
In Myanmar, they say well, “if it is being served, it is tea, if it is fruit, it is man’s coat, and if it is meat it is the pig, you have just eaten tea, time for the pig, pig in a curry sauce with pumpkin.
After the curry, it’s time for a pallet cleanser, the home made pickled ginger refreshes your pallet, like all other Burmese salads, we experienced here again the different textures, from soft to crunchy.
Tomato Shrimp Curry
They say that river prawns in Myanmar can grow as big as lobsters, which are then also cut through the middle and grilled. But more often the shrimp are processed in curry.
Semolina cake & Black Rice Pudding
After all savory snacks and salads, it’s time for some sweets. We know black ketan rice from the Indonesian delicacies in Suriname, in southeastern Asia, delicacies are made with this ingredient, this Burmese variety combined here is with coconut and mango, while the sooji cake, one of the most consumed desserts in Myanmar, is often in combination with Myanmar tea.
In a region where tea is eaten, it is not strange that they also drink it often, as the final item of this evening they also offered us Myanmar tea. Strong with milk is how they drink it in Burma. They drink tea at home the most.
I hope you have made a wonderful culinary trip with me. We had a wonderful time, and even felt drunk! The meal was great, the ambience was good. An evening with friends is always a pleasure. On to our next food event!