Mundi in the Morning

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About one half of a mile from our gate, there is a little shop we like to frequent. It runs out of a tiny street side home with thin metal walls and a corrugated metal roof. The patrons eat outside of this edifice under brightly colored umbrellas. We can tell whether or not it is open as soon as we turn off our street, as the child-sized tables and chairs will be out on the edge of the street, waiting for occupants.…

Why Pickled Tea Leaves?

I first visited Myanmar in 2013, and one of the first dishes I tried was called lahpet tho (click for image) or what speakers of English would call pickled tea leaf salad. I loved it, and ate plenty of it.

There are a variety of ways in which lahpet tho is served, but it is almost always brought to the table at the end of a meal. It will come on a neat little plate with separate piles of roasted peanuts, fried beans, chopped green or red tomatoes, roasted sesame seeds, fried garlic, and of course, the crown jewel: a nice cluster of fermented tea leaves.…

Raisin Bread with Orange Honey Butter

IMG_2996 I’m not always a fan of dried fruit in my bread and pastries, but with a good raisin bread recipe, I take exception. I credit my Dutch heritage for my partiality to raisin bread. The Dutch may not be renowned for culinary finesse, but they do know a good bread and cheese; a particular favorite being a slice of raisin bread (or a raisin bun), generously buttered and then topped with a nice piece of gouda cheese (and perhaps some ham as well).…

No Electricity Homemade Yogurt


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Before moving to Myanmar, I was under the impression that making homemade yogurt required an oven. After settling into our new home my husband and I starting making fruit smoothies religiously. (Think papaya, bananas, watermelons, none of which needed to travel far to get to our kitchen.) There was always something missing though, something creamy to stabilize the whole mixture and enhance all the flavors of the fruit.

Thanks to this post from Attainable Sustainable coupled with the wisdom of a veteran Yangon resident, I learned that the only thing standing between me and some yogurt was a little bit of effort and a few hours of waiting.…

Byau Pu Tho (Corn Salad)

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This salad was my first invention upon settling into our new home in Yangon. It also symbolizes my initiation into shopping Myanmar style (that is to say, open air market). Before going out to shop, I sat down with my vegetable picture chart and my fluent husband and made a list of the things I’d need, sounding out the name of each ingredient, writing it down, and practicing it a few times.

Emboldened by my new arsenal of vocabulary, we strode out to the market, basket in hand.…