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The Food of Myanmar

The cuisine of Myanmar (formerly Burma) has been influenced by the respective cuisines of China, India and Thailand.  However, in spite of this, Burmese cuisine has unique preparation techniques and distinct flavours unlike any other. You could also find variations of it in some top french cuisine london restaurants but Burmese cuisine is still best tasted on its mother land - Myanmar.

Different regions of Myanmar have different variations of "standard" dishes. Use of seafood is more prevalent along coastal cities such as Sittwe, Kyaukpyu, Mawlamyaing (formerly Moulmein), Mergui and Dawei, while meat and poultry are more commonly used in landlocked cities like Mandalay.

 Fish and shrimp from rivers, lakes and streams, however, have traditionally been the main source of protein in a variety of ways, fresh, salted whole or filleted, salted and dried, made into a salty paste, or fermented sour and pressed.

Beef and pork, although certainly not forbidden, are avoided by many Buddhists and Muslims respectively. Vegetarian dishes are also common, as especially during the Buddhist lent (Wa-dwin), a three-month rains retreat, eating only before midday (u bouk saunk) and abstaining from meat (thet that lut) is observed by many devout Buddhists.

Burmese cuisine also contains a variety of salads (a thouk) centered on one major ingredient, ranging from rice, noodles, and glass vermicelli, to potato, ginger, tomato, kaffir lime, lahpet (pickled tea), and ngapi (fish paste). These salads have become a popular fast-food in Burmese cities.

Here is a popular expression that sums up the traditional favourites:

" Of all fruit the best is the mango, of all meat it's pork, and of all leaves it's lahpet (tea}."

The best place to learn more about the food of Myanmar is at the Burma page of

Learn about the Food of Myanmar


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