5 Most Popular Burma Vegetarian Dishes

Burma Vegetarian Dishes

Visiting a country would not be complete without trying its local cuisine. There’s definitely a wide array of dishes that you can try everywhere. Whether it is vegan or not, they will surely feed the hungry tourists. 

One of the countries that we will talk about in this article will be Burma. It is a sovereign state located in Southeast Asia, with an official name of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, often informally shortened to “Myanmar”. 

Burma is bordered to the west by Bangladesh and India, to the north by China, and to the east by Laos and Thailand. Recently, they have been a center of attention due to civil unrest and armed conflict. But there’s no stopping if you want to try some Burmese dishes designed for a vegan or vegetarian. 

Popular Burma Vegetarian Dishes

Tea Leaf Salad 

Burmese salads are popular if you visit the country one day. But they have their own approach in creating their salads with a vegan recipe. They can be crunchy and full of flavors. 

Lahpet Thoke is a classic Burmese salad with a strong flavour. It can be both street food and haute cuisine in Myanmar. It is made with pickled tea leaves mixed with tomato, cabbage, onion, sesame, peanuts, dried peas, garlic, chili and lime. 

Tomato Salad

There are tomato farms in Inle Lake, this is why Burmese have found a way of elevating their salads. You’ll find a vegetarian Burmese style with different variations of the tomato salad. 

But usually, they incorporate it with onion, garlic, peanuts, coriander and sesame that makes it more interesting. If you are a big fan of these vegetables, it is a must-try. 

Indian Food

Burmese cuisine has been greatly influenced with Indian food. This is why you will see some Indian restaurants that serve great dishes. You’ll see some pancakes filled with spicy potatoes called dosas or thosai in Burma. 

Curries are also available just like in other countries. There is a vegetarian version of thalis that is composed of rice and a Burmese curry. Fried Indian snacks are also available in the streets of Burma. Vegetarian samosas are readily available and can be found easily. 

Tea Shops

Tea shops in Myanmar are not only serving teas. They also serve samosas or fried vegetables. A famous  flat bread served with a boiled pea dip called Pe Byouk is also found here. 

Pe Byouk is usually served for breakfast or as a snack later in the day. Though breakfast is commonly free at guesthouses, you can always go to a tea shop and dig in for a bowl of these vegan favorites. 

Shan Food

A state in Myanmar called  Shan state offers food with delicious taste and is vegan-friendly. If you are a vegetarian and are looking for a great experience, come to Shan or Yangon’s Chinatown, as they offer some delicious food. 

Shan people are known for their spectacular cooking. Some dishes that you can try are Shan tofu, a creamy vegetarian dish made out of tofu that came from split yellow peas rather than soybeans. It can be served fried, or can be a tofu salad mixed with noodles to achieve a creamy comfort dish.

You can also get Shan noodle salad/soup if you want some big bowl of noodle soup and a noodle salad with a little bit of vegetable broth. A tasty rice with tomato, onion and garlic, called Shan yellow rice and tomato, is also a popular food

Other Popular Food in Burma/Myanmar

If you visit this country in SE Asia, then there are other varieties of dishes that you still can try, even if you are a vegan and meat is not an option for you. 

A variety of delicious Burmese food flavored with different condiments like fish sauce or coconut milk. If you don’t eat meat and love vegetarian food, try out some other exciting fried noodles or other fresh salads. 

You can get the Lemon Salad which is a combination of cabbage, red onion, lemon, chili, and sesame. There is also an unusual but delicious veg food salad made from the pennywort herb and mixed with onion, sesame, peanuts, garlic and lime called pennywort salad. 

If you roam around the streets of Myanmar, you’ll find restaurants that serve Vegetarian fried rice, Fried noodles with vegetables and steam rice with vegetables. These varieties are  easy and quicker options for vegetarians. They can be served with black soy sauce and chopped garlic

There are also different vegetable dishes that are served. That includes marrow curry, stir-fried grout curry, stir fried Bok Choy and mushrooms, bean curd curry, potato, and bean gravy, cheese and tofu stew, eggplant and black bean, or the Chickpea curry.

There are other different options that you may find just around the corner or on street stalls. Burmese food is not typically spicy, as most of their local dishes include coconut milk as the ingredient, which helps in balancing the spiciness. They are really balanced as the sweets aren’t too sweet at all. 

If you love to eat fresh fruit along with your vegetable curries, then Myanmar has some fresh fruits to offer. Their markets are full with different kinds of fruits for you to try on. 

Where To Find These Delicious Myanmar Local Cuisines

If you love some barbecues, go to 19th Street or Mahabandoola Rd. This street is lined up with stalls that offer trays where you can choose your own food. They offer meat and fish, but if you don’t eat those, they also have different vegetable options. Once you’re done picking up your food, they will do the grilling for you. 

If you are into some curry or Indian-inspired dishes, visit Ingyin New South India Food Centre on Anawrahta Rd. You will find lots of Indian restaurants on this road, but if you are looking for those that serve some vegetarian food, look for South Indian restaurants. 

If you want to try Shan creamy tofu and noodles; rice with tomatoes, garlic and onion, go to Nang Htike on Bogyoke Aung San Street between 46th & 47th. They also offer freshwater seaweed in a tangy chili and lime dressing, and spicy mixed vegetables.

Another good Indian restaurant with a friendly owner and nice setting called Aroma 2 on Restaurant Row in Nyaung U will provide tasty vegetarian thali including vegetable curry, chapati, and rice. They also have five chutneys with tamarind, mint and coriander, and spicy tomato.

Now, if you are looking for a good place for lunch while out at the temples with a huge selection of interesting dishes for a vegetarian food, look for The Moon Vegetarian Restaurant, near Ananda Pahto, Old Bagan. Their eggplant salad made with warm roasted and mashed eggplant, and the creamy Bagan Tamarind Curry with groundnuts are truly amazing. 

Another good option for vegetarians will be Yar Pyi Vegetarian Restaurant, just opposite The Moon vegetarian restaurant. There is also the NVC Nepali Restaurant at 81st Street 26/27 where you can find some cheap vegetarian thali and the potato paratha served with curries.

There are few other places worth mentioning. But if you can’t visit Myanmar soon, try to find some places in your area that serve some Burmese food. You may also try cooking some local dishes by looking for recipes online, just like their famous Khow suey recipe. 

It is a noodle soup made of egg noodles and curried beef or chicken with coconut milk, served with a variety of contrasting condiments. A squeeze of lemon is also added to provide some tanginess. Others also use fresh lemongrass to bring some aroma. It is similar to the Burmese noodle dish ohn no khauk swe, literally meaning ‘coconut milk noodles’.

Thanks for reading this post and hope you’ll try some good foods from Myanmar soon for a wonderful trip. If you visit the country one day, learn some of their local language that might be useful, especially if you are a food lover. 

If you want to ask “Do you have vegetarian food?”, say ” Teh Ta loo Shila?”. If you want to say “Is this vegetarian?”, ask them “Teh ta loo la?”. If you don’t eat meat, say “Atha ma sa bu”. For those who ask for completely vegetarian meals, just say  “Tathaloo or Tataloo”. 

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