Myanmar’s food has a special identity beloved by locals. Although its neighboring countries influence the cuisine, the food does not directly resemble Thai, Indian or Chinese food. A typical Myanmar meal is arranged around rice with accompanying dishes of fish or meat cooked in onion and garlic-based gravy. Soup can be clear, creamy or tart and is sipped during the meal to cleanse the palate. Salads are a popular side dish and some, such as the pickled tea leaf salad called lahpet, are eaten as snacks. Mohinga, a thick fish broth with thin rice noodles, is arguably Myanmar’s most famous national dish and is typically eaten for breakfast. Another delicious choice is the popular ohno kaukswe, a coconut-based chicken soup with noodles.
Tea is a staple drink in Myanmar, and tea shops are great for not only starting your day with a strong drink, but for people-watching as well. Tea is typically served hot and with sweet, condensed milk added to cut its strong natural earthiness. Standout Myanmar sweets are quite simple and consist of coconut, tapioca, rice flour, and fruit. Favorites include iced coconut milk with tapioca, and Mont Lone Ye Baw, which are rice dumplings stuffed with sugar and topped with shredded coconut.