Tofu Skin Stir Fry

3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger
5 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 pound bok choy, thoroughly washed and drained (or vegetables of choice)
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons water
1/2 pack of fresh tofu skin, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the ginger, and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the garlic.

After a few seconds, turn up the heat to high, and add the bok choy. Stir-fry everything together. When the bok choy has begun to wilt, stir in the salt, sugar, sesame oil, and white pepper.
Now add the water and fresh tofu skins. Do not stir! It’s important to keep the tofu skin on top of the bok choy so that it doesn’t touch the wok (or it will stick). Cover the wok with the lid, and steam for a minute.

Then open the lid, drizzle in the cornstarch mixture, and stir-fry gently to mix everything together.

Burmese Coconut Cashew Cake (Sanwin Makin)

One 14-ounce can coconut milk (do not use light)
1 cup(170 grams) semolina flour
1/4cup(30 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (15 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut
1 generous packed cup (218 grams) light brown sugar
4 tablespoons(57 grams; 1/2 stick) salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons(8 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon(2 grams) ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon(3 grams) kosher salt
1/4 cup(32 grams) roasted unsalted cashews, chopped
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of your 9-inch round cake pan with cooking oil spray. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper, then grease the paper’s surface with the cooking oil spray.

Pour the coconut milk and all its solidified fat into a mixing bowl, whisking thoroughly to emulsify it, as needed.

Combine the semolina and 1/4 cup of the shredded coconut on a rimmed baking sheet, spreading them in an even layer. Toast (middle rack) for 10 to 12 minutes, until the coconut is fragrant and golden at the edges, stirring halfway through the oven time. Transfer to the mixing bowl with the coconut milk and whisk to incorporate. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.

Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Add the brown sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, cardamom and salt to the semolina mixture, whisking to form a thin batter. Pour into the prepared pan, then scatter the cashews and the remaining 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut evenly over the surface.

Bake (middle rack) for 28 to 33 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. The cake’s surface may crack a bit; that’s okay. Cool (in the pan) on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then run a round-edged knife around the edges to loosen it. Invert the cake onto the rack, remove the pan and paper. Turn the cake right side up, onto a serving plate.

Serve warm, or at room temperature, with the whipped cream, if desired.

Ohn No Khao Swe (Burmese Chickpea Noodle Soup)

1 lb of fresh egg noodles, blanched in boiling water
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
6 Tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup oil
1 large onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (peeled and grated)
1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp chili flakes
1/2 cup chickpea flour or besan flour or gram flour + 1/2 cup water
6 cup chicken stock
1 1/3 cups coconut milk

GARNISHES AND CONDIMENTS:
4 hard-boiled eggs , peeled and sliced
2 green onions (thinly sliced)
1 medium onion , finely sliced
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
2 limes , quartered
1/2 cup chili flakes
1 cup fresh bean sprouts (blanch in hot water briefly if you prefer.)
12 oz (350 g) fresh egg noodles, deep-fried in oil until crispy, drained on paper towel, cooled and crumbled by hand into bite-size pieces
Fish sauce

Marinate chicken with fish sauce for at least 15 minutes. Heat oil in large pot, saute onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and chili flakes. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent chicken sticking to pot. Meanwhile, add chickpea flour to water and whisk to remove lumps.

Add chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes and the chicken is cooked through. Add coconut milk and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.Stir in chickpea flour paste until the soup thickens slightly.

Arrange each garnishing item on a separate plate on the table around a central bowl of chicken and coconut chickpeas soup. To serve, take a portion of fresh noodles and a generous helping of soup, add a little of each garnishing (a dash of fish sauce if desired).

Burmese Chickpea Fried Rice

2 cups of uncooked long-grain white rice
2 Tbsp of cooking oil
2 large onions peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
1 Tbsp of red chili paste optional
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups of soy bean sprouts
2 stalks of green onions finely chopped
Limes quartered

ROASTED CHICKPEAS:
15 oz of canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans drained and rinse with water
1 Tbsp of good quality curry powder
1 Tbsp of Olive oil
Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Drain off the liquid and rinse the chickpeas with water until it’s no longer “slimy”. Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet and pick out the loose skin from the chick peas. Pat them really dry with clean kitchen towel. Drizzle with some olive oil, curry powder, and salt. Lightly toss to coat them evenly. Pop into the oven and roast for about 40 minutes to 1 hour (depending on your oven) until they are crispy and golden brown. Keep them warm while you are getting other things ready.

Rinse the rice with water until the water is clear. If you are cooking your rice with rice cooker, use about 1 1/2 cups of water to cook the rice. If you are not using rice cooker, use 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer uncovered until all liquid is almost absorbed. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid for 15 minutes and then uncover and fluff the rice with a fork and let it completely cool down (repeat: COMPLETELY!!).

When ready to make the fried rice. Preheat the wok or skillet on high heat. Add in the cooking oil and swirl to coat the wok/skillet. Add in the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add in the red chili paste if using. Add in the cooked rice and roasted chickpeas into the wok or skillet. Toss to mix everything. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste. Add in the soy bean sprouts and stir to mix again. I like my sprouts to be still slightly crunchy, so don’t cook for too long. Turn off the heat and sprinkle in the green onions, squeeze in some lime juice and stir one last time to mix and serve immediately.

Serve with shallot and chili sambal.

Pressure Cooker Burmese Beef and Potato Curry

INGREDIENTS:
2 1/2 lbs beef stew meat/shank/chuck cut into large chunks
1 lb Yukon gold potatoes cut into 2-inch pieces, or you can use little round potatoes
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 large onion diced
2 Tbsp grated ginger
4 cloves garlic finely minced
1 large tomato diced
1/2 cup water more if you cook on stove-top

SPICES:
2 Tbsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp Madras curry powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 large cinnamon stick
2 Tbsp paprika

HERBS:
2 bay leaves 4-5 if used dried bay leaves
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnishing

SEASONINGS:
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

SERVE WITH:
1 -2 limes cut into wedges

COOKING WITH INSTANT POT PRESSURE COOKER:
Press saute on instant pot. When it says “hot”, add cooking oil to inner pot. Add onion, ginger, and garlic. Stir fry for about 3 minutes. Add tomato pieces and spices and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add the beef pieces, bay leaves, and seasonings stir to mix everything.

Add 1/2 cup of water. 1/2 cup water may seem a little, but the meat will ooze out some liquid and not much liquid escapes when you cook with pressure cooker. Close the lid of Instant pot. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Press “pressure cooker” and then “high pressure”. Set timer to 30 minutes. When the timer is up, release pressure immediately.

Carefully unlock the lid and open. Turn off “keep warm” and turn “saute” back on. Add the potato pieces and stir to mix. Continue to cook for the next 15-20 minutes until potatoes are soft and the liquid has reduced and you see some shiny oil arise. Have a final taste and add more salt to your taste if needed.Turn off saute mode.

COOKING ON STOVE TOP:
Preheat a large pot with cooking oil. Add onion, ginger, and garlic. Stir fry for about 3 minutes. Add tomato pieces and spices and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add the beef pieces, bay leaves, and seasonings stir to mix everything.

Pour in about 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to let it gently simmer for the next 1 – 1 1/2 hours until the beef pieces are really tender. You may need to add a bit of water if the water evaporates too quickly before the beef is tender. Once the beef is tender, add the potato pieces and cook for the next 15-20 minutes. Majority of the liquid would have evaporated leaving you with some oil. Have a final taste and add more salt to your taste if needed. Turn off the heat.

SERVING:
Transfer to large serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro leaves and some lime wedges. Squeeze some lime juice before eating.

Serve with pandan rice.

Alison’s Edamame

1 bag frozen edamame

Sauce:
3 tablespoons chili paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Pinch of sugar to taste
Dash of black vinegar to taste
Dash of toasted sesame oil to taste

Steam or boil edamame until just done.

Mix sauce ingredients to taste.

Serve edamame with sauce on the side.

Shan Noodles

Shan noodles can be served over a bed of rice noodles or served with broth.

1 lb chicken (or pork), chopped
8 oz. dried Shan noodles (rice noodles)
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and chopped
8 tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder (optional)
8 tablespoons peanuts, crushed
2 scallions, chopped (for garnishing)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Place the dried noodles in a large bowl of cold water.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Turn off the heat, and place the dried rice noodles.

Heat oil in a large wok. Fry the onions, garlic and ginger for 6 to 8 minutes.

Add chili powder and continue to stir fry for minute.
Add the chopped chicken (or pork), tomatoes, tomato paste, and stir well. Add soy sauce and sugar and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes until all tomatoes are crushed.

Put a handful of noodles into a bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of chicken curry, crushed peanuts and adjust with soy sauce to taste. Add a few spring onions. Serve immediately with pickled mustard greens (optional).

Ideas for Egg Lunches: Burmese Golden Curry

5 duck eggs (or large chicken eggs)
6 tablespoons peanut oil
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 onions, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 thai chilis, thinly sliced (optional)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (1/2 inch) piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 tomatoes, puréed in food processor
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
1/2 bunch cilantro , chopped
Salt

Place the duck eggs in a pot, cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water boils, remove the pot from the heat and let stand 12 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot and peel them under cold water.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium/high heat. Add the shallots and fry for about 6 to 8 minutes or until light brown. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towel and sprinkle with salt.
Add the duck eggs into the hot oil, then lower the heat. Fry them for 4 minutes, regularly turning them to brown them all around. Take them out of the pan and transfer them to a plate.
Add the onions, turmeric, paprika, chili, garlic and ginger to the pan and fry for a 5 minutes, then stir in the puréed tomatoes, tamarind concentrate, fish sauce and brown sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes to reduce.

Cut the eggs in half and carefully place them back into the pan. Pour some of the mixture over the eggs, making sure that they are coated generously and simmer for another 2 minutes.

Finish by sprinkling the fried shallots and roughly chopped cilantro on top of the eggs.

Khao Suey (Burmese Curry Noodle Soup)

For the curry base

2 tablespoons oil
1 medium red onion, diced
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken, cubed
2 teaspoons powdered coriander
1 teaspoon powdered cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
1/2 cup puréed tomatoes (optional)
2 tablespoons tamari
3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 cup coconut milk
1 medium zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped cauliflower
6 ounces rice noodles (medium thickness), preferably fresh
1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

To garnish

1/4 cup oil for frying
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
Sliced jalapeno peppers
Sliced scallions
Thinly sliced carrots

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil, add the red onion, and cook for about five minutes, until soft and wilted. Keep stirring until the onion begins to turn pale golden at the edges.

Add the finely grated ginger and the garlic and mix well.

Add the chicken, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and red cayenne pepper and mix well. Cook the chicken for about 2 minutes, until no longer pink.

Add in the puréed tomatoes if using and the tamari or soy sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Mix in the broth and the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the zucchini, red bell pepper, and the cauliflower and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add in the noodles and cook until they’re al dente (if using fresh rice noodles, this will only take a couple of minutes).

While the soup is cooking, heat the oil and fry the garlic until crisp and golden. Lift out with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.

Add the thinly sliced shallots to the hot oil and fry until crisp and place in a bowl.

Arrange the remaining garnishes in individual bowls and serve with the noodle soup. Cut the lime, squeeze the juice into the soup, and add in the chopped cilantro. Serve with the garnishes.

Burmese Tomato Salad

250 grams tomatoes (approx. 2-3 medium), cut into bite size chunks
1 shallot, medium, thinly sliced
20 grams garlic, peeled
5 grams green chilis (Thai bird chilis), roughly chopped
15 grams roasted peanuts (Planters work just fine), coarsely crushed. Choose your weapon to crush: mortar and pestle, rolling pin, can of soup.
1-2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced into hair-like shreds
1 handful cilantro, leaves and stems, chopped
1/2 tablespoon chickpea flour (also called gram flour or besan), toasted. Easily found in Indian stores, Asian stores, or other specialty stores.
2 tablespoons “tep say an lien” or crisp-fried, seasoned tiny shrimp (easily found in Asian stores in the ready to eat snacks aisle)
1 tablespoon peanut oil or vegetable oil
pinches kosher salt to taste

Begin by toasting 1/2 a cup of chickpea flour in a cast iron pan or skillet set on medium heat. Keep stirring every 2 minutes or so. At the 7-8 minute mark, it’ll start to change color and your nose will start to pick up a wonderful, nutty aroma. At this point, stir every 30 seconds or so for an additional 3-4 minutes, until it resembles the color of finely powdered graham crackers. Remove pan off the heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container and use any extra in Burmese-style vegetable salads or as a thickener/base in soups and curries.

Next, put garlic and green chilis in a blender and pulse a couple of times to get a chunky mix with easily distinguishable pieces of garlic and chili; at no point should it become a paste.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small wok and cook the garlic-chili blend in it until it turns an even golden brown.
Carefully remove the fried garlic-chili blend gently pressing against the side of the wok as you do, so as to leave most of the oil in the wok. Wait for the wok to cool down a bit.

Next, add a 1/2 tablespoon of toasted chickpea flour into the residual oil in the wok and stir it in to instantly form an emulsified dressing of sort. Follow with tomatoes, shallot, kaffir lime leaves, and cilantro and give it a good mix. At this point, you can stick it into the refrigerator for a couple of hours until ready to eat.

This salad can be enjoyed at room temperature or cold. Remember to salt only when ready to eat. After salting, garnish with fried garlic-chili blend, crushed peanuts, and crisp-fried dried shrimp.

Burmese Butter and Lentil Rice

1 1/2 cups raw split-pea lentils
2 1/2 cups raw rice
2 large onions
4 T ghee
4 cardamom pods
2 cloves
3 bay leaves
1 tsp turmeric or 1/16 tsp saffron
1 cup shelled green peas
1 T salt

Wash and soak lentils ahead of time to shorten cooking time (if using corn, boil cobs, then cut off kernels). Boil lentils until halfway done. Wash and drain rice, slice onions.

Heat ghee, add spices and let aroma rise. Add half the sliced onion. When it begins to brown, add turmeric, remaining onion, green peas, lentils and salt. Stir well. If saffron is used, dissolve in 2 T hot water and add to the 4 1/2 cups of water for the rice.

Add rice, mix well, then add 4 1/2 cups water. Cover and cook over high heat. Stir once or twice before it comes to a boil. As water is absorbed, lower heat, shake pot with lid on. Continue to cook very slowly until rice is dry and fluffy, shaking pot once or twice more.

Burmese Beans

2 1/2 cups / 535 grams dried beans, such as pinto, navy, or cannellini
Salt
1/3 cup peanut or vegetable oil, plus more for finishing
1 sliced yellow onion
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 (2-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and minced (about 1/3 cup)
3 tomatoes, diced
Pinch of chile flakes
2 green onions, sliced (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)

Rinse the beans well in a colander. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with 2 inches of cool water, and let soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Drain the beans, transfer to a 4- to 6-quart pot, and add water to cover by about 1 inch. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender.

Remove from the heat, stir in 2 teaspoons salt, and let the beans stand in their cooking liquid for at least 30 minutes (or refrigerate them in their cooking liquid and finish the dish the next day). Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid (you’ll have about 4 cups).

In the same pot used to cook the beans, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt and cook until the onion has softened, about 6 minutes. While cooking, mash the garlic against the side of the pot to break it down.

Stir in the ginger and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and chile flakes and cook until the tomatoes have softened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the beans, another teaspoon of salt, and 2 cups of the saved cooking liquid. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the beans achieve a creamy consistency. Taste, adding more salt as desired (beans do need a fair amount, so don’t shy away from the salt if they taste flat). If the beans are too thick, stir in a little more of the cooking water and continue to cook.

Remove from the heat. (At this point, the beans can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 1 week. Reheat gently before serving.) Drizzle peanut oil on top to serve, if desired. Serve with lime wedges if you want the beans to taste a bit brighter

Burmese Noodle Bowl

2 medium yellow onions
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 teaspoon shrimp paste (belachan)
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 14 oz can coconut milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 packet rice noodles
1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced and fried to a crisp
3 eggs, boiled and chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped fine
2 limes, quartered

Peel and chop the onions and garlic cloves into chunks. The size doesn’t matter as they are to be ground.

Place the onions, garlic, ginger, shrimp paste, and water in a blender or food processor. Pulse well till you have a smooth paste.

Clean and chop the chicken into bite size pieces. Wash well and drain.

Heat canola and sesame oils in a Dutch oven. Add the onion paste and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes to get the rawness out of the onions.

Add turmeric and chili powder. Stir to incorporate them into onion mix.

The chicken goes in next. Sauté the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring well to coat with spice mixture.

Add coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Stir well and bring the soup to a boil. Lower the flame, and let the soup come to a simmer. Cover the saucepan and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Fill a large, deep saucepan with water and bring to a boil on a high flame. Add rice noodles to the boiling water. Take the saucepan off the heat and let rice noodles steep in water for 20 minutes. Drain well and keep aside.

Assemble the soup with a large helping of rice noodles in a soup bowl. Top with ladlefuls of soup. The noodles should swim in coconut broth.

Add pieces of chicken. Garnish with fried shallots, chopped egg, a sprinkling of chili powder, some cilantro, and a large squirt of lime juice.

Burmese Red Chili Oil

1 cup packed dried red chiles, soaked in lukewarm water for 20 minutes
1 cup peanut oil

Drain the chiles and remove and discard the stems. Put the chiles in a food processor and process to a coarse paste.

Pour the oil into a nonreactive pan and set over medium heat. Add the chile paste and bring to a bubbling boil, then remove from the heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature.

You can store the oil with the chiles in it, but in Burma the oil often is served on its own. For clear oil, drain the oil through a sieve into a clean, dry glass jar and seal with the lid. Store away from heat and light. You can keep the chiles in another glass jar for a spicy condiment, or discard them.

Ideas for Egg Lunches: Burmese Tomato Chutney

1 tablespoon tamarind pulp, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup hot water
About 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
Salt
3 dried red chiles, soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained
Scant 1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, finely chopped (about 3 cups), or 3 cups crushed canned tomatoes, preferably unseasoned
1/4 cup Dried Shrimp Powder
3 or 4 green cayenne chiles, seeded and cut lengthwise into 3 or 4 strips each
About 1 tablespoon fish sauce, to taste
About 2 tablespoons chopped coriander

Place the tamarind pulp in a small bowl, add the hot water, and let soak for 10 minutes.
Mash the tamarind with a fork to separate the seeds and fibers from the pulp. Press the tamarind through a sieve set over a bowl, using the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible from the pulp. Set the tamarind liquid aside; discard the pulp.

If you have a mortar, pound the shallots and garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then pound the chiles to a paste. Alternatively, mince the shallots and garlic to a paste with the salt, then mince the chiles. Set aside.

Place a wide heavy skillet or heavy pot or a wok over medium heat. Add the oil and turmeric and stir, then add the shallots and garlic and stir-fry for a minute or two. Add the reserved chiles and shrimp paste and stir briefly to blend. Add the tamarind liquid and tomatoes. Stir well, bring to a boil, then lower the heat slightly and cook at a strong simmer until the tomatoes are softened and a little thickened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp powder and cayenne chiles and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the chiles are softened. Add the fish sauce, then taste and adjust the seasonings if you wish.

Turn out into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stored in a well-sealed glass jar in the refrigerator, the chutney will keep for 4 days.

Burmese Braised Chicken in Coconut Milk

For the soup:

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon dried ginger
1 tablespoon dried turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as grapeseed
2 cloves garlic
1-inch piece peeled ginger
1 peeled shallot
1 dried chile, on the hot side (I like de árbol)
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil or a neutral cooking oil, such as grapeseed
1 cup cubed sweet potato
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 limes, 1 juiced and 1 quartered

Salt, to taste Cut the chicken thighs into about 1-inch pieces and marinate overnight with the dried ginger, turmeric, coriander, and 1 tablespoon of neutral oil. If you forget, simply toss the chicken pieces with the spices before you start cooking.

In a food processor, mince the garlic, ginger, shallot, dried chile, and the roots and/or stems of the bunch of cilantro.

In the bottom of a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil. Then add the cubed sweet potato. Fry until golden brown on at least 2 sides of each cube. Scoop out of the pan, leaving the oil, and set aside. Add the chicken pieces (a few at a time so you can brown them without having them cool the pan down) and let them begin to brown. Season with a pinch of salt.

When they are mostly browned, add the minced shallot-ginger-garlic-cilantro stem mixture and let cook out a little.

Add a couple tablespoons of the chicken stock and let reduce until the mixture is soft and cooked.

Add the rest of the chicken stock and the reserved sweet potatoes and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile use the method below to fry the crispy shallots (this can also be done as much as a week ahead of time, as the shallots will keep in a closed container at room temperature for a week at least).

Simmer the soup for about half an hour, until the chicken and sweet potatoes are close to tender.

Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, and coconut milk and bring up to a simmer.

Stir in a quarter cup of cilantro leaves and taste for salt.

Serve garnished with the crispy shallots, a couple of sprigs of raw cilantro, and the lime wedges

For the crispy shallot topping:

1 peeled shallot, sliced thinly
1 cup neutral cooking oil, such as grapeseed In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the shallots and stir frequently. As the oil continues to heat, the shallots will start to color. When they get to golden brown, scoop them out of the oil and drain on a paper towel. You want to pull them out of the oil a little before dark brown, as they’ll continue to cook and crisp up on the paper towel.

Baya Kyaw (Burmese Gram Fritters)

250g dried yellow split peas, soaked overnight
1 medium onion, finely chopped
handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
peanut oil for deep frying

First prepare the onion, chilli and coriander by chopping them finely, then leave on one side.

Drain the peas and blitz half in a food processor to a coarse consistency, then tip into a bowl. Blitz the remaining half to a smooth paste, adding a little water (no more than 1 tablespoon) to help it along. Mix the two batches together. This will give the fritters a good texture and will stop them splitting during the frying process.

Mix in the chopped onion, chilli, coriander, spices and salt. Make sure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.

Heat enough oil in a saucepan to deep fry (never fill the pan more than halfway). Scoop a teaspoon of the mixture and work with another teaspoon to form a bite-sized oval shape. Gently drop the fritters one by one into the oil. Deep fry in batches of 6 to 8 fritters on moderate heat. After 2-4 minutes they will turn golden brown.

5Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. They are best served warm with sour chilli or tamarind dip.

Burmese Chicken Salad

200 grams cooked chicken (poached or roasted)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
2 hot chiles, like jalapeños, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 fresh shallots, thinly sliced
3 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fried shallots

Salt and pepper, to taste Shred the chicken meat using hands or forks. Place the chicken and all of the other ingredients in a mixing bowl and gently toss. Season to taste, keeping in mind that the fish sauce itself is rather salty.

Burmese Cabbage Salad

Generous 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 red or green cayenne chile, seeded and minced, to taste, or substitute a milder chile such as a jalapeño or a Hungarian wax pepper
About 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
About 2 cups grated or very thinly sliced Savoy, green, or Napa cabbage

Combine the shallots, chile, fish sauce or salt, and lime juice in a medium bowl and toss. Set aside for 10 minutes to half an hour.

Add the shredded cabbage and toss well. Taste for seasoning, and sprinkle on more fish sauce or salt if you wish.”

Burmese Tomato Chutney

1 tablespoon tamarind pulp, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup hot water
About 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
Salt
3 dried red chiles, soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained
Scant 1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, finely chopped (about 3 cups), or 3 cups crushed canned tomatoes, preferably unseasoned
1/4 cup Dried Shrimp Powder
3 or 4 green cayenne chiles, seeded and cut lengthwise into 3 or 4 strips each
About 1 tablespoon fish sauce, to taste
About 2 tablespoons chopped coriander

Place the tamarind pulp in a small bowl, add the hot water, and let soak for 10 minutes.
Mash the tamarind with a fork to separate the seeds and fibers from the pulp. Press the tamarind through a sieve set over a bowl, using the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible from the pulp. Set the tamarind liquid aside; discard the pulp.

If you have a mortar, pound the shallots and garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then pound the chiles to a paste. Alternatively, mince the shallots and garlic to a paste with the salt, then mince the chiles. Set aside.

Place a wide heavy skillet or heavy pot or a wok over medium heat. Add the oil and turmeric and stir, then add the shallots and garlic and stir-fry for a minute or two. Add the reserved chiles and shrimp paste and stir briefly to blend. Add the tamarind liquid and tomatoes. Stir well, bring to a boil, then lower the heat slightly and cook at a strong simmer until the tomatoes are softened and a little thickened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp powder and cayenne chiles and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the chiles are softened. Add the fish sauce, then taste and adjust the seasonings if you wish.
Turn out into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stored in a well-sealed glass jar in the refrigerator, the chutney will keep for 4 days.