Sunday, August 31, 2014

Burmese Bottle Gourd Broth - Buthi Hinjo

Buthi Hinjo
Burmese meals almost always include a bowl of Hinjo (soup) or Hinga (sour soup). These soups are composed of different vegetables in very light and clear broth. Unlike a soup course in a Western meal, Hinjo is not served as a first course. It is sipped throughout a Burmese meal because it serves to wet and cleanse the palate so that the distinct tastes of salty, sour, bitter or sweetness can be better enjoyed. Water is rarely served at a Burmese table; Hinjo is served in its place.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)
3 cups water + 2 cups chicken broth (vegetarians use 5 cups water)
1 tsp. shrimp powder (vegetarians use 1 heaped teaspoon julienned nori)
1 Tbsp. fish sauce (optional)
1/2 bottle gourd/lauki, peeled and cubed (seedless cucumber works too)
1 small onion, diced
1 cup romaine lettuce, shredded
salt to taste
Lime, cut in wedges
2 green onions, sliced thin

Directions
  1. Divide lettuce and green onions between 4 bowls & set aside.
  2. Bring water and chicken broth to a boil and turn heat down to med-low.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until lauki is soft.
  4. Ladle soup over lettuce in the 4 bowls (lettuce will wilt in hot broth).
  5. Serve with wedges of lime.

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