What is Burmese Food? Try… Peanut Porridge.

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Thanks to Serious Eats, I found this cookbook sitting in my mailbox over the holidays. I must admit that I was a complete stranger to Burmese cuisine. That is… until I got Burma: Rivers of Flavor. I really enjoyed going through the book because it teaches you about local culture and lifestyle, including local scenery photography and authentic Burmese recipes. Due to Burma’s (or Myanmar) geographic location, its culinary influence comes primarily from three nations: China, Thailand, and India. So! In  Burmese cooking, you can expect a lot of shallots, peanuts, rice, noodles, fish sauce, soy sauce, etc.

Anyway, I chose to make this peanut porridge called khao poon tua lin. There is nothing like it. The cooking technique and dish flavors are so different from anything I have ever cooked. It uses fresh peanut flavored water to cook rice, then it purees the rice porridge and pour it over noodles!

Burmese Peanut and Rice Porridge

 

Peanut and Rice Porridge

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw peanuts, in their papery skins, rinsed
  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1.5 tsp of salt, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp shallot oil
  • soy sauce
  • 1lb dried rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil

Optional toppings

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • Few basil leaves
  • red chile oil
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • chopped roasted peanuts
  • lightly toasted sesame seeds
  • Sweet Chile Garlic Sauce

Recipe

  1.  Place peanuts in a wide heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, add 3 cups of the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and lower heat to maintain a steady low boil, and cook until peanuts are tender, about 1 hour.
  2. Wash rice and add rice and salt to peanut water pot, along with enough water to cover by 1.5 inches or so. Stir and raise the heat back to a boil, then cover, and lower heat to maintain a simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Turn out into a food processor and process to a smooth puree. Transfer mixture back to the pot, add hot water as necessary to give it a soft texture.
  4. Transfer this to a large bowl and stir in shallot oil. Taste for seasoning and add soy sauce if needed.
  5. Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop in the noodles. Cook according to instructions. Then drain the noodles. Stir in sesame oil. Top noodles with peanut porridge and toppings to your liking.

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