'burma: rivers of flavor' on Serious Eats
Poached chicken plus broth and noodles is nothing new. Most of us eat chicken noodle soup on a more than regular basis throughout fall and winter. But Naomi Duguid's Coconut Sauce Noodles in Burma is far from ordinary. In its most basic form, egg noodles are boiled and then dressed with a thick soup of chicken, cracked coconut milk, and shallots.
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.
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.
Eggs and tomato sauce seem to pop up everywhere these days--it seems most chefs have their own version of eggs in purgatory or else shakshuka somewhere in their repertoire. But the Golden Egg Curry in Naomi Duguid's Burma, is decidedly different. The eggs are hard-boiled, peeled, and then fried in turmeric-laced peanut oil. The tomato sauce is sparse but redolent of sauteed shallots, garlic, and chiles, leaving the eggs to take center stage. There may not be a runny yolk to mop up, but the golden crisped exterior of the eggs more than makes up for it.
These nuts are a key ingredient to many Burmese dishes (like Banana Flower Salad) and are worth roasting and chopping in bulk so you'll have them on hand.