Be honest, how many cook books have you on your shelves that you have barely opened, let alone made more than one or two recipes from?
Having recently spent some time renovating my kitchen including putting up some new shelves to hold all my cook books – and there’s a lot of them – as well as a couple of folders of recipes I have collected over the years, I had a mini guilt attack about how little I use these books and how rarely I really cook these days. One book in particular caught my eye that I used to regularly dip into for inspiration, particularly when it came to Chinese cooking. It’s a huge hard covered book with many chapters, each on a different Asian country’s cuisine. There’s a number of chapters that I have never tried a single recipe from so to start putting that right, last weekend I cooked a selection of dishes from Burma (or Myanmar as it is now known).
Burma’s cuisine is not nearly as well-known in the UK as that of many of its neighbours. You’ll find restaurants from China, Thailand and India in almost every town but hardly ever any from Burma. While I have read that their food is rather bland, I suspect the lack of Burmese restaurants here is more down to Burma being closed to the outside world for many years, rather than an indicator of the appeal of their gastronomy. And, being surrounded by countries producing such amazing cuisine, I find it hard to believe that Burmese food can be anything other than exciting.
Having opened up to tourism just a few years ago, Burma is now on many a travellers wish list and I would dearly love to visit this beautiful country for myself and walk among her golden temples, swim from her stunning beaches and taste her cuisine.
Rice cooked in coconut milk
Saturday night’s Burmese meal was a great success but one dish in particular delighted our taste buds and it’s so simple and easy to prepare I felt duty-bound to share it with you.
- 300g long grain rice
- 400ml tin of thin coconut milk
- Rinse the rice very well (in a metal sieve under cold running water, I find works well).
- Pour the wet rice into a pan.
- Pour the coconut milk over the rice and stir well making sure none of the rice sticks to the bottom of the pan.
- Slowly bring to the boil while continually stirring.
- When boiling point is reached, reduce the heat and immediately cover the pan.
- Gently simmer for 20 minutes without removing the lid.
- Remove the lid, stir and leave to stand for a few minutes so that any remaining liquid may evaporate.
- Serve immediately while still steaming hot.
This really delicious dish is as simple as that and will no doubt go very well with many Thai dishes, some southern Indian dishes, as well as traditional Burmese cuisine.
Prawn, chilly and coconut rice
This weekend I cooked rice again in coconut milk and stir-fried some chopped onion, prawns, garlic and chillies and mixed these all together once cooked. I used a tin of reduced fat coconut milk which gave a subtler flavour and was excellent cold as well as hot.
Have you been to Burma and what did you think of the food there? Have you ever tried cooking a traditional Burmese meal?
Thank you to Travel Indochina for providing these lovely images of Burma that have me hankering to go there even more.