In the feedback I have received from my initial Crash Course Burma post, people commented or emailed to note that their experiences with Burmese food were not as positive as mine. I hope these delicious soups help sway public opinion toward a more favourable consensus; given the diversity of the minority groups fanning out to the far reaches of Burma's borders, many different dishes exist within the country. I tried my best to eat them all.
My first soup in Burma, on my first day in the country:
Eaten crammed into a tiny roadside stall's plastic stools in Yangon, with the two women I met at my hostel watching me with a mixture of horror and fascination. "But, aren't you afraid you're going to get sick?" one of them asked. "Worth it!" I responded - this soup was just that good.(I didn't get sick, of course.) It was a take on the national breakfast, a delicious dish called mohinga: rich fish-based broth packed with rice vermicelli noodles, onions, fried garlic, chopped coriander, chickpeas and a great fried bean fritter called akyaw. The mohinga captured above was modified by the lovely, proud Bangladeshi woman who served it: instead of coriander, she used fresh mint leaves and instead of the bean fritter, she cut up a samosa with scissors and dropped it into the soup. Despite my questioning whether this was mohinga - surely such a wondrous adaptation must have its own name? - she insisted that it was. For 300 kyat (30 cents) it was my first foray into Burmese food, and quite a success.
The second soup I tried in Burma was in Mandalay, at the home of one of the more generous people I met there:
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