Yangon is a great place to start your crash course in all dishes Burmese. Being the largest and most ethnically diverse city in Myanmar with a population of nearly 6 million, Yangon brings together the flavors and culinary influences from all over the country. In a not-so-distant past, consumers sat down to three regular meals a day and snacked only in between meals: Eating was a pretty traditional, predictable behavior. In that bygone era, meals had culturally defined guardrails, passed down through generations, and mealtimes reflected rules telling us when meals should happen, who should be there, how we should act and what we should eat. Meals traditionally helped structure the day, providing focal points marking beginnings, endings and transitions. Snacking occasions reflect consumers’ more-flexible approach to eating and drinking overall and represent 50 percent of all food and beverage occasions. Today’s consumers eat around their schedules rather than scheduling around mealtimes. Dinner becomes a mere pause between other activities. Lunch is often scheduled out to accommodate an overflow of meetings and must-dos. And breakfast can be multitasked between commuting and working. There are more than 190 countries present in the world today. With each country having its own way of mixing ingredients, the entire world has now billions of recipes and snacks. On the other hand, out of these dishes there are particular snacks in every country for which the time and occasions are not considered for eating them. Most of the traditional Burmese snacks are a rich source of rice, sugar, coconut, and milk. There are many stalls just outside of the Bogyoke market, people eat these snacks after their lunchtime. Mont Baing Taut made with rice and mixed with coconuts, Mont Sein Paung (steamed rice cake with dried grape and sweet pumpkin), Shwe Yin Aye (sweet soup dessert consisting of a slice of bread, seaweed jelly, steam rice, and coconut milk) are much like in Myanmar. With influences from the Chinese, Indian, Thai and Vietnamese, the cuisine of the Burmese truly is diverse. A spot for daily breakfast, a quick afternoon snack or something for the sweet tooth, you can find these local treats in pushcart stores scattered across Yangon. Here is a list of top Myanmar snacks that you should definitely try:
Visitors come to Myanmar not only because of its beautiful places but also tasty cuisine. When it comes to Myanmar’s food, travelers cannot miss tamarind flake, a unique sweet and sour taste that comes from tamarind. However, tamarind flakes are the unusual local sweet that you are not likely to find anywhere else in Myanmar, other than Bagan. Myanmar is also known for its cuisine and when visiting Bagan, trying out some of the tamarind flakes is an absolute must. Tamarind flakes are the unusual local sweet that you are not likely to find anywhere else in Myanmar than Bagan and the chances of finding them in any other part of the world are even fewer. Tamarind sweets are offered after meals, it has a unique sweet and sour taste that comes from tamarind. The next time you visit Bagan, make sure that you buy these little drops of heaven as souvenirs from Myanmar.
Instant Rice Vermicelli
These small packs of instant noodles will bring you straight back to Myanmar, the flavor pack inside tastes just like eating from a street vendor filled with Myanmar’s spices. This instant noodle version of this classic dish is a must buy when returning back to your country. Also a great souvenir to share with your friends and family.
Saw Mo Double Fried Beans
These are also a must have when traveling in Myanmar, different kinds of beans deep fried and tossed in spices. A very flavorful snack to pack with you on the go. People have been sweeping these as souvenirs too when heading back to their home country. They are available in all supermarkets.
Pickled Tea Leaves
Tea is native to Myanmar, with over 700 square kilometres of land dedicated to its cultivation, producing an output of over 60,000 tonnes of tea annually. With tea being such a big part of the Burmese culture, it’s no wonder it manages to find its way into the local cuisine. Laphet, a Myanmar traditional fermented tea leaf, has been developed as an ethnic food. It has a very long history in Myanmar. In ancient times fermented tea leaves were used as a peace symbol or peace offering between warring kingdoms. Nowadays, the laphet tray is a main expression of hospitality offered to houseguests. Myanmar fermented tea leaf is a common signature and national ancient food that is eaten by all people in the country, regardless of race or religion, at get-togethers in family homes, in monasteries, and in the traditional celebrations. You’d think that you could only drink tea, but in Yangon, you’ll discover that it can also be eaten! A very popular Burmese dish, Laphet Thoke is a tea leaf salad. The tea leaves can’t be eaten raw, so they are pickled and stored, and the resulting mixture has a richly sour and tangy taste that lingers on the palate. The cuisine of Myanmar has a popular expression: “Of all the fruit, mango is the best; of all the meats, pork is the best; of all the leaves, laphet is the best.” The original taste of tea leaf is very bitter and its bitterness is reduced after the fermentation process. Furthermore, the bitterness of laphet is partially removed by rinsing with warm water once or twice, depending on the user’s desire. As a salad, it’s base of Pennywort leaves — slightly bitter but balances out nicely with the salad sauce — mixed in with diced tomatoes, cabbage and nuts, tossed in a mildly sweet sauce and topped with a squeeze of lime. It makes for a refreshing midday snack or as a starter that opens up your appetite for the mains. Pickled tea leaves is something one must try.
Butter Peanut Crisp Candy
A simple dessert yet regarded as one of the top Myanmar snacks, peanut butter crisp candies are made with sugar and peanuts, with some added butter to make it crunchy but soft for your teeth. It is also one of the most common souvenirs for friends and family for a taste of Myanmar.
Royal Myanmar Tea Mix
If you are a milk tea lover, then this is something you should never miss out on! Everyone who visits Myanmar knows this milk tea. Royal Myanmar Tea encapsulates traditionally brewed Myanmar tea. With its distinctly unique aroma and flavor, it evokes a sense of nostalgia and soothes your mind and soul.
Deep Fried Pork Skin
You’ve heard people snacking on beef jerkys but never pork skin! These deep fried pork skin are so crunchy and full of flavor, you are guaranteed to get addicted to it!
One of the unique snacks you’ll find in Myanmar, different kinds of pickled fruit packed in air-tight packages and ready to eat. Some are sour, others are both sour and spicy.
Myanmar Beef Jerky
These beef jerkys come in small packages and are extra crispy! The strings on it are to keep them in shape. Your fist bite would be a blast spice, then your mouth will be filled with a rich flavor of beef.
A sweet dessert drink that will quench your thirst and give that quick recharge while you’re out and about exploring the streets of Yangon. Falooda is a mix of rose syrup, vermicelli, sago pearls, milk, and sometimes even ice cream. Having a hard time visualising Falooda? Imagine a mash up of the most delicious chendol and bandung, and you’ll most likely be on the right track.
Last one on our list is this scrumptious biscuit, Cashew brittle. It is made of cashews wrapped in crunchy sugar coating. The cashews are soft, rich in flavor, and yet the sugar coating makes it crunchy.
Which among these top Myanmar snacks are you eager to try? Let us know in the comment section down below!