Exploring Myanmar’s street food is regarded by many visitors as one of the best ways to have fun and get to know the country. Yangon, once the capital of Myanmar, is the country’s largest and most populous city, which has experienced long periods of British colonial rule and has colonial traces in many places. The famous Shwedagon Pagoda stands on a hill in the middle of Yangon, and here you can see downtown Yangon without too many tall buildings. As the country’s transportation hub, there are flights to many parts of the country and long-distance buses to various places.
On the streets of Yangon, dotted with vendors selling cheap local snacks, you can always find something tempting in a corner if you like. Myanmar has got varieties of street snacks depending on the region or ethnic groups, and these foods are heavily influenced by neighbouring countries.
Burmese food is usually served with fresh ingredients and the flavors are so intricate that it’s hard to find the exact same dish in different places. Like any other Southeast Asian countries, Myanmar’s street food stalls usually specialize in a particular dish, rice is used as a base for most meals, and pork, chicken, fish and fresh vegetables are common ingredients. Various styles of street food can be found at food carts set up by local vendors. Wandering the streets of Yangon and taking a bite local unique street food is one of the most wonderful experiences for most visitors to Myanmar.
Here are 5 mouth-watering street snacks worth trying during your stay in Yangon, and you can easily find them on the streets or in small roadside restaurants.
Nan Gyi Thoke
Nan gyi thoke is a dry noodle dish, essentially a salad made with rice noodles. The dish is said to have originated in Mandalay. This salad mainly consists of thick rice noodles (made with rice flour, available in a variety of sizes, from wide to round), chicken pieces, hard-boiled eggs, onions and bean sprouts. The mixture of chili oil and roasted chickpea flour is the main seasoning. Usually, broth and pickles are served together as side dishes. This is one of the most famous dishes in Burmese cuisine, and you can easily find vendors selling this noodle dish on the streets or at the markets, in Yangon.
Shan-style noodles are one of Myanmar’s most famous authentic traditional dishes, a light rice noodles that are very popular in the area, and you shouldn’t miss them during your trip to Burma. It’s mainly a combination of pepper-flavored rice noodles, tomatoes and chicken paste. In most cases, roasted sesame and garlic oil are the main seasonings. Shan-style noodles are relatively simple compared to most Burmese noodle dishes, but they will impress you too.
Burmese Street Pancake
Burmese pancake is a traditional local snack, and on the streets of Yangon you can see many mobile street vendors selling this food. Fluffy in the middle and slightly crispy on the sides, it tastes a little like cheese. The pancakes have many different types, some small and thick, some big and thin, some white, some brown. Pancakes are usually freshly made in front of customers, and you can ask the vendor to add palm sugar, nuts and eggs on top of the pancakes, or onion and coconut slices if you don’t like sweet food.
Burmese Curry and Rice
Curry is a delicious food that occupies an important place in Burmese cuisine. Myanmar’s curry tastes milder and has relatively simple ingredients compared to the rest of Southeast Asia. Rice and some accompanying curries and vegetables is a common street food in Myanmar. This meal offers a range of side dishes, usually including chicken, pork, a variety of boiled vegetables and sauce.
Dosa is an Indian-style, thin, crispy pancake made from fermented rice flour and eggs, which some call “Burmese sandwich”. The batter is spread onto a hot iron skillet, the vendor then adds eggs, chopped carrots, onions, cabbage, chili oil and other seasonings. This is one of the most popular fast food in Myanmar, and the production process usually takes only a few minutes. This kind of pancake is mainly used for breakfast in local, delicious and cheap, one only needs about 0.5 dollars. On the streets of Yangon and other cities in Myanmar, vendors selling this food are everywhere.