Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to order for this blog; how do you distill a nation’s cuisine into one dish? I mean, you can’t. But it’s always nice to get something that can at least give a partial view of what a country’s food has to offer.
In the case of Myanmar, there doesn’t seem to be much debate over their national dish: it’s mohinga, Myanmar’s take on Asia’s ubiquitous noodle soup.
So, that’s easy. Mohinga it is.
Though Royal Myanmar’s version of this dish features noodles that are overcooked and somewhat mushy, and flavours that are more muted than you’d expect (for something that is ostensibly a fish soup, there is an odd lack of anything even resembling a seafood flavour), I still quite enjoyed this. It’s subtle, but a squirt of lime and a sprinkling from the jar of fiery-hot crushed chilis helps to kick it up several notches. It also has a nice garlicky hum, an added richness thanks to the sliced hard-boiled egg, and a vibrancy from the abundant fresh cilantro.
The broth has been thickened, but subtly so — some thickened Asian soups can be a bit gelatinous for my tastes, but here it’s just thick enough to to give it substance without going overboard.
It’s topped with crunchy chickpea fritters; it’s kind of like topping a soup with crackers, only with a million times more personality.