Steamed whole fish makes for a virtuously effortless dish with instant presentation points, especially when topped with a psychedelic melange of ginger, chiles, and herbs as is the River Fish Celebration in Naomi Duguid's Burma. The whole snapper (or trout) is coated with a warming and floral paste of ginger, galangal, garlic, and lime before being tossed in a light broth spicy with chiles, cilantro, and even more ginger and garlic.
'Burmese' on Serious Eats
She doesn't mention it in the recipe headnote, but Naomi Duguid's Kachin Pounded Beef with Herbs in her Burma must be a kissing cousin to Laos and Thailand's laab. Instead of hand-chopped meat that is tossed with spices, however, this Burmese version is pounded in a mortar and pestle, grinding the aromatics into gently simmered beef. The result is a meltingly tender bowl of fragrant beef with a texture akin to rillettes but with the taste of Southeast Asia.
At once sweet, tangy, earthy, and nutty, Susan Feniger's interpretation of a Burmese digestive snack in her "Street Food" is truly a knockout. Her recipe combines a blend of melons--watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew--with a potent mix of young ginger, sesame, and coconut. Next, the salad is then bulked up with blanched peanuts and strangely perfect green lentils and then dressed with a bit of sugar, soy sauce, and lime juice. It sounds like a crazy combination, but it works.
"Poured over a bed of noodles, it's just as soothing but far more exciting than your average chicken noodle soup." [Photographs: Chichi Wang] Call it Myanmar; call it Burma. Nomenclature aside, relatively little is known about the cuisine of a...