Burmese Food Extravaganza

DD spices

DD spice grinder

DD fried garlic close

I toasted nuts and spices.
I minced, chopped and pulverized herbs.
I fried a pile of shallots and then made shallot oil.
I fried thin slices of garlic until they were potato-chip crisp and then made garlic oil.
I boiled meat chunks in water, then browned them, then pounded the chunks to a pulp.
I softened teeny tiny dried shrimp in bowls of water, then ground them until light and fluffy.
I shredded vegetables, squeezed the life out of limes, roasted and peeled eggplants and tended to multiple pots and pans all sizzling and simmering simultaneously.
Five and a half hours later, my husband and I sat down to a “simple,” 3-dish Burmese meal.
What it worth it? That gets a big fat no.
The dishes were perfectly fine, but nothing that wowed or made my taste buds zing. If I had ordered these dishes at a restaurant I wouldn’t send them back, but I certainly wouldn’t order them again, either. I have spent five-plus hours in the kitchen on Thai, Vietnamese or Indian menus that blew my mind, but this Burmese meal didn’t even come close. I am not giving up on the cookbook, however, as I know delicious dishes are lurking in the pages, I just have to suss them out. On the bright side, after all of that work, I do now have several of the oils and pastes and ground spices ready to go for my next Burmese experiment. I am determined as I so want to love this food. The country is bordered by India, China and Thailand — how can the cuisine be anything but lively and supremely flavorful?

Ground Shrimp

Ground Shrimp


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