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Showing posts from 2013

Mohinga Recipe - Burmese Catfish Chowder - Burma's National Dish

Bursting with contrasting textures, fragrances, and flavours, mohinga is a Burmese catfish chowder served over rice vermicelli. It's the breakfast of choice wherever you go in Burma, and considered our national dish.

As soon as we're back in Yangon, my family and I will devour bowl after bowl of mohinga, brought home in huge metal tiffin carriers from the nearest street vendor, or eaten in situ at our favourite stall.

Heaped with crispy split-peas, slices of soft duck egg, bouncy fishcake, and fresh feathery coriander leaves, with extra fish sauce and lime to squeeze on the side, it's hard to know when to stop, and for many, their love for mohinga borders on obsession.





Mohinga is usually made with small river catfish known in Burmese as nga gyi, nga ku or nga yunt which I believe are related to the Pangas catfish.

While you can't get the same fish in the West, I've found that a combination of tinned mackerel and sardines can successfully replicate the flavour of authen…

Sensio Masha Review + Win an Electric Masher in Time for Christmas COMPETITION [CLOSED]

I don't know much about Ina Garten aka the Barefoot Contessa, but I caught a British-themed episode of her cookery show where she made "bangers and mash" using an electric blender to make her mashed potato. 

As any fule kno, this will result in an abysmal, gluey slop similar to wallpaper paste, rather than the glorious mash that we know and love (although I have been assured that Americans of a certain generation prefer their mashed potatoes made that way).



No, there's no substitute for a bit of old-fashioned elbow grease - or at least that's what I thought until I came across something called a Masha on Big Spud's excellent blog. As I'm weaning my baby daughter, I was up for anything that might make life a bit easier, so I was pleased to be sent one too.

The Masha is the size of a stick blender but a little lighter. All the moving parts are made of plastic, which I like very much as blades seem to be drawn to me (or vice versa). You just click the green par…

How to Make Burmese Coconut Chicken Noodles on the MiMi Cookery Show [VIDEO]

It's the MiMi Cookery Show! Ha, not really.

So you know Vouchercodes - those guys that email you handy discount codes for shops like Clark's and Dorothy Perkins?

Turns out that they also have an online magazine called Most Wanted which is oddly hidden away in the top right of their website.

Most Wanted is full of rather good articles and handy money-saving tips - eg how to stream music for free or how to achieve Jennifer Lawrence's smokey eye makeup.




It also has a Food and Drink section, which is currently running a series called "Afford Autumn Food". It even has its own hashtag on Twitter - #AffordAutumnFood.

Vouchercodes asked me to take part in the series, so I went along to the beautiful cookery school Food at 52 to spend a couple of hours filming this How-To video.




Anyway, here is the result - watch the video below to see me do a Nigella and show you how to make Ohn-No Khao Swè aka Burmese Coconut Chicken Noodles.

Note that you could substitute tofu as the protein …

How to Make a Ramen Egg - Recipe (Hanjuku Egg, Nitamago, Ajitsuke Tamago)

People complain that it's hard to get around in Japan because you're literally lost in translation. This isn't true for a number of reasons which I won't go into now, but especially when it comes to food.

Most restaurants, even the high-end ones, have amazing plastic models in their windows called "sampuru" which show you pretty much exactly what you're going to get; when you get inside, the menus often contain pictures; and a lot of more casual places make you order in advance from a machine which has photos of all the dishes (it's a bit like buying a car park ticket, but what you get in return is a hell of a lot more fun).





I loved using these machines because you could easily build up the craziest order possible without any confusion - press this button for extra noodles, that button for tempura on the side - but my favourite button was the one which got you a ramen egg.

A ramen egg, if you're unaware, is the second most delicious soft-boiled egg i…

How to Make a Ramen Burger - Recipe

Hot on the heels of the food trend known as the cronut comes the Ramen Burger.

Made popular by Keizo Shimamoto, writer of the blog Go Ramen! and now ramen chef in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this culinary mash-up is a sister to MOS Burger's famous rice burger, this time using ramen noodles as the unlikely burger receptacle - ie the ramen is the burger bun.

And like MOS Burger, its roots come from Japan - unsurprising as Shimamoto, a second-generation American Japanese-American, ditched his career in finance to study the art of ramen in Tokyo itself.




The Japanese forerunner to the ramen burger is more traditional - all the usual elements are there, including cha shu pork, naruto fishcake, menma bamboo shoots, spring onions - portable ramen - whereas the American Ramen Burger is a proud fusion, much like Shimamoto himself.

The most famous of the old-school ramen burgers comes from Furusato-tei in Kitakata City, but the ramen burger in its present form was introduced to the world by fast foo…

I Don't Like Crickets ... Sous Chef and the Rentokil Restaurant

Growing up in Britain as a Burmese child was weird in a lot of ways.

One of these was that my diet was entirely Burmese at home. I didn't really cook or shop for food for myself till I was at college, so I genuinely never realised for example that asparagus made your wee smell (in fact, I used to think that there was something up with my future in-laws' plumbing, since their house was the only place I ate the stuff).




And I didn't know that avocados could be savoury as I'd only had them in milkshakes and ice cream, and I only got to eat fish and chips from a bag when there was a power cut. I had my first McDonalds when I was 12 - and yet I had my first cricket when I was 8.

Crickets - those chirpy little beggars with too many legs and antennae. Known as payit in Burma, and sold on the streets of Mandalay and Yangon in huge bamboo trays, they were meaty and crunchy and incredibly delicious, fried in lashings of garlic, ginger and salt.

I knew that they weren't your usual…

Shan-Burmese Cauliflower and Carrot Pickle Recipe

Pickling is in my blood. As you know, I'm Burmese, but Burma aka Myanmar is made up of over 100 ethnic groups. A large part of me is Shan, one of the more prominent of these ethnic groups, who primarily live in a rural, hilly region in Burma known as the Shan State.

Traditionally tall and fair, and cousins to the Dai people in Thailand, the Shan are rather fond of pickles (and noodles, and pork - often the three in combination).



The classic Shan pickle is mohnyin-tjin, but as wonderful as this is, it takes a little effort and patience to make (by patience, I mean at least a week, kimchi-style). 

This recipe is for one of my favourite overnight pickles, using cauliflower and carrot, both of which are hard to come by in lower Burma, but plentiful in the Shan State.




Though of course carrots and cauliflowers aren't rare in the UK, you may not find the pickling spice Shan hnan ("Shan sesame") in this country - although if someone can look at the photo below and let me know if…