Sunday, May 24, 2015

Burmese Htamin Kyaw - Burmese Fried Rice

Burmese Htamin Kyaw
Thai and Chinese take-out joints are very generous with their rice portions and there's always a lot left over. Customers have the option of asking for fried rice in place of plain, steamed rice (sometimes for an extra dollar). The rice is simply fried with some soya sauce and not much else. Packed in a ziploc bag and flattened down to a disc, it goes straight into the freezer until it's time to make fried rice.
Fish Sauce

Shrimp Powder with Chili
Two essential ingredients for cooking south-east Asian cuisine are shrimp powder and fish sauce. The fried rice I made would have been the run of the mill Chinese fried rice except for the addition of these two condiments that add umami to any dish.

Burmese Fried Rice
Fried rice tastes best if day-old rice is used because most of the moisture in the rice has been absorbed and each grain separates from the others and develops an al-dente texture. This Burmese fried rice sets itself apart from other fried rice because of its umami-saltiness from the shrimp powder and fish sauce, a pungent spiciness from green chilies and faint sweetness from caramalized onions used while frying the rice and as a garnish.

This dish is very simple and easy to make, took under 15 minutes to prepare and goes well with soup or salad. Burmese shrimp fried rice is another fried rice that is a meal unto itself for lunch.

2 cups day-old rice
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 green chilies, diced
1 Tbsp. dried shrimp powder with chili
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. soya sauce
4 + 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
2 stalks green onions, chopped
deep-fried onions for garnish

  1. Mix rice with 2 Tbsp. oil, soya sauce, fish sauce and set aside.
  2. Heat remaining oil over medium-high heat and stir-fry onions, garlic, chilies and shrimp powder until onions caramalize.
  3. Add rice and mix thoroughly, reduce heat to medium and leave rice to brown on the bottom.
  4. Stir and make a well in the center, add beaten egg and allow it to set.
  5. Toss rice with egg to scramble and garnish with green onions & deep-fried onions before serving.