Steamed rice forms the main part of every meal and is accompanied by dishes called "hin". Hin can be curried fish or meat, soup, and fresh, boiled vegetables, onion fritters or dried tofu. A fish product in the form of fresh seafood, dried seafood, fish sauce or ngapi (a pungent fish paste) is almost always present in Myanmar dishes. Condiments such as pickled mango, balachaung and ngapi (shrimp and ngapi floss) and pickled vegetables are also regular accompaniments.
A quick lunch or dinner in Myanmar is usually a salad (a thoke) picked up from one of the many street stalls. These fragrant salads are full of herbs, chilli, makrut lime, ginger and meat or fish, and are usually noodle or rice based.
At a Myanmar table, the eldest diners are always served before others. Traditionally, the Myanmar use their right hand to form a ball of rice and mix it with a variety of hin before eating. Chinese-style spoons and chopsticks are used for noodle dishes, while salads are often eaten with a spoon.
Visit Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong for Myanmar recipes.