Discovering the Burmese “rice meal” in Yangon

Yangon Rangoon on eatlivetravelwrite.com

Sule Paya, Yangon (Myanmar)

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember we took a trip to Burma/ Myanmar a couple of Christmases ago (I’ve written about some of my experiences here and you can check out my iPhone photos “on the go” here)

Feel Myanmar Food on eatlivetravelwrite.comRice table in Burma on eatlivetravelwrite.comOne of the best discoveries on that trip was the food – in particular the “rice meal” Naomi Duguid refers to in “Burma: River of Flavors” (Artisan Books, 2012, pp16-17). I’m a huge fan of this book – in fact, my Cookbook Book Club cooked from Burma a couple of months ago and we were all surprised at how easy some of those more exotic flavours were to re-create at home.  The rice meal is  accompanied by curries, condiments, salads and other sides where all the dishes come at once and what most Burmese enjoy at least once a day.  Duguid suggests that the best way to enjoy the rice meal is with other people because you can taste a wider variety of dishes. Even with just two people, at the start of our trip to Burma, Neil and I found it’s a great way to sample multiple dishes (the servings are not big and are meant to be shared). The food is not overly spicy and shallots, garlic, ginger and chilies feature prominently, as does fish sauce and shrimp paste. It’s flavourful. Burmese food certainly does not have the same reputation as its neighbours Thailand, India or China but it deserves to.

Greens in Burma on eatlivetravelwrite.comI’m excited to announce that an article I wrote about discovering the rice meal in Burma has been published in the Summer 2014 edition of Ensemble Vacations. And as a bonus, there’s a recipe for Burmese-style chicken curry, adapted with permission from a recipe by Burmese food writer and blogger MiMi Aye of meemalee.com.

Burmese chicken curry on eatlivetravelwrite.comYou can read “Discovering the Burmese Table in Yangon” – here.





Buy Burma, Rivers of Flavor by Naomi Duguid for yourselves on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository*.




Canadians – win a copy of Molly Wizenberg’s “Delancey”. Ends Sunday July 13th 6pm EST. Details here.


Many of you will know I’m in France for most of the summer.  While I will be eventually blogging about things I do here, the best way to keep up with me will be by following my photos which you can do on my Summer 2014 set on Flickr or Instagram where I am @eatlivtravwrite (if you don’t have the app on your phone you can still check out the photos online.

* Please note: The product links from Amazon, Amazon.ca and The Book Depository are affiliate links. If you click on these links and purchase the product I have linked to or any other product, I will receive a small percentage of the sale price.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Responses to Discovering the Burmese “rice meal” in Yangon

  1. Mr. Neil July 9, 2014 at 06:41 #

    Ah, this is a wonderful “postcard” into a past trip – and Mardi’s right, one of the things I enjoyed most about that trip (and such a highlight in most of Asia) is the food.

  2. Ann Mah July 9, 2014 at 10:11 #

    Yum! Burmese food sounds absolutely wonderful and I’m excited to learn more via your article. Congrats, Mardi!

  3. Coco in the Kitchen July 9, 2014 at 12:26 #

    One of my coworkers is from Burma, but I know nothing about their cuisine.
    Thanks for sharing your memories and that recipe. I’m going to make that chicken curry tonight!

  4. Sally - My Custard Pie July 9, 2014 at 13:40 #

    I love when you look back on your Burma trip. Such an amazing country coming out of difficult times.

  5. Geoff July 9, 2014 at 18:21 #

    I know the post is about the food…. but I really like the happy people in one of the shots.

    • Mardi Michels July 11, 2014 at 01:50 #

      Yes those are the “wait staff” at one of the restaurants (Feel Myanmar Food) – they were very happy and helpful when we needed some help deciphering the “menu” – it’s like a picture menu come to life with the dishes all laid out in front of you and those guys were more than happy to give some suggestions. A great recommendation in Yangon.

    • Mr. Neil July 11, 2014 at 08:36 #

      It’s perhaps a cliché (and perhaps parochial to say), but indeed so often you could see the people were genuinely happy to finally have their country opening up, and eager to welcome foreign visitors – and show them something more than a brutally repressive military junta.

      No, not idyllic at all spots — but the feeling of welcome for westerners (and their pocketbooks) was palpable everywhere we went.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.