Sonia Footprints

'Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all'

Myanmar Experience – Burmese Cooking Class

Who doesn’t love food?

Unlike Thailand, not many cooking classes are available in Myanmar. It took me a while to identify his restaurant which will provide cooking classes upon request.

After all the outdoor activities, it’s time for some indoor excitement!

I was thrilled to learn Burmese dishes after I’ve spent more than 2 weeks in Myanmar having local delicacies!

About Monsoon Restaurant & Bar

I went to this Monsoon Restaurant & Bar in Yangon. The restaurant is located at the downtown near the Strand Road. The restaurant instantly stands out from the rest of the surrounding buildings because of its colonial style. The interior setting offers a relaxing atmosphere. The restaurant not only serves Burmese dishes but also the nearby Southeast Asian countries’ food like Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese, Laos and western food.

Yet, I am not here to eat. I am here to learn cooking!

This restaurant has 3 floors, first and the second floor being the area to host diners while the third floor is where you learn some delicious Burmese dishes.

The restaurant has cooking classes are available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, starting from 9:30am, lasts about 2 hours. Reservation is required.

Burmese Cooking Class

Ms. Nyo Nyo San, a member of the Myanmar Chef Association and the chef of the restaurant, is our teacher today.

We have 6 dishes to cook today and I am going to finish all of my cooked food as well. That’s gonna be a challenge after a sumptuous breakfast at the hotel…

Let’s cook!

The first dish is ‘Ah Kyaw Sone’, a Burmese appetizer. I’ve never had this appetizer in Myanmar and it turned out to be deep fried tempura of assorted vegetables. The cooking method is exactly the same as how you deep fry other food. The trick is to just cut the vegetables in smaller pieces so it can be cooked faster. Nyo Nyo explained that we can use all sorts of vegetables available in our own country.

I am surprised that tempura is the appetizer…it’s just a heavy start!

Alright, off to the next dish which is lentil soup! I love lentil soup! This lentil soup is not just a bowl of soup, it mixes with different seasoning like turmeric, ginger, and garlic oil. A little vermicelli is added as well. You can put a lot if you want to make it as a main dish.

lentil soup

Next up was long bean salad. Burmese salad has a full range of varieties, tea leaves salad is the most famous one. This long bean salad is refreshing after I stuffed my face with all the tempuras.

After quickly blanching the long beans, I cut them into pieces and mixed them with tomatoes, onion (soak them into water for 10 minutes to get rid of the pungent flavour if you want), crispy onion, garlic oil and then wear a pair of plastic gloves (provided) to toss and squeeze them! Flavours combined flawlessly. I am going to make this at home I told myself after I finished the dish in 2 minutes.


You still got a main dish

Okay, I am 70% full already and I still had a main course which comprised of chicken curry, vegetables side dish and coconut rice!

We used seasonal vegetables for the side dish, boil long beans, lady fingers, cabbage and chop them into pieces. The ‘dry’ sauce is a mix of dried shrimp powder, shrimp paste, chili flakes, onion and garlic.

You’ve got to make your own curry paste. A huge mortar is provided for you to add chili paste, onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Smash until it is well blended, i.e. you can’t recognize what it is.

Next step was easy. You put everything into the pan and wait 8 minutes.

While you are waiting, you start making coconut rice. Rice is already cooked and all I need to do is M-I-X-I-N-G it with coconut milk thoroughly.

When I was happily enjoying my chicken curry, the cooking class serves me with a fruiter platter and tea.

This cooking class has been fun. You will be able to make the dishes yourself with the help of the chef assistant if needed. This definitely spiced up my Burmese experience!

For class reservation, please write to:
Mr. Alvin Zaw Htoo
Food & Beverage Manager
They handle special requests on recipe designing for big groups, be sure to ask!

Note: The pictures were taken while the chef was demonstrating. No pictures were taken while I was cooking as I only have two hands!! 

Sonia • July 26, 2017

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