So many people we met in Burma spoke such good English, I didn’t have a chance to learn much Burmese on the trip. I survived with only two Burmese words: hello and Shan noodles. By the last day of the trip, I could walk up to non-English speaking strangers on the street in Yangon and say in Burmese, “Shan noodles?” And they would obligingly point us in the direction of the nearest shop where we could grab some noodles for lunch.
Fortunately for me, one of our airplanes had a recipe for “Spicy Shan Noodles” in the in-flight magazine—now I can recreate my favorite Burmese dining experience at home if I so choose. Here is the recipe, as it appears in the magazine, for anyone who would like to try it. (I am not sure how much a “tical” is, and I don’t know when I’ll ever be cooking noodles for twenty, but it’s a fun recipe to have, regardless.)
Ingredients: (serves twenty)
Shan rice noodles, 1 bundle
Pork, 40 ticals
Cooking oil, 15 ticals
Peanuts, sesame seeds (roasted), 15 ticals
Colouring powder, 2.5 ticals
Onions, 10 ticals
Garlic, 5 ticals
Seasoning powder (monosodium glutamate powder), 1/2 teaspoon
First, slice the pork, into pieces. Next, pound garlic and onions together, until it becomes a paste. Heat oil and add the paste. Stir until the paste begins to brown and add the colouring powder. When you get nice aroma put the pork into the pot. Then continue to cook until tender. Add the seasoning powder. After that, soak a bundle of dry rice noodles into the water, then boil.
Put handful of rice noodles into a bowl. Add the gravy pork curry. Then sprinkle with half a tablespoon of pounded peanut and sesame, together with thin strips of crispy fried tofu. Then mix the bowl with chopsticks. It is now ready to eat. Pickled radish is a tasty accompaniment and may be added to individual bowls as required. For those who like it a little bit hot, just add as much dried chilli powder as you need.
(Thanks, Erin, for the photo documentation of Shan noodles in Yangon.)
Next in the “Burmese Days” series: ”Chaung Tha“