Monday, July 24, 2017

Burmese Htamin Let Thoke - Hand-Tossed Noodle & Rice Salad

Burmese Htamin Let Thoke
Also known as Let Thoke Sone or A-Thoke, this carb-rich salad is a popular street food in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). Htamin (rice) Let (hand) Thoke (tossed/mixed), like many other Burmese hand-tossed salads, is made from 12 or more ingredients, most of which are readily available in your local supermarkets. Specialty items like deep-fried onions and garlic can be made from scratch, but is a laborious process. Asian markets stock those along with spicy shrimp floss for which I like to use Balachaung as a substitute. Tamarind paste also is available in Asian and Indian markets.

I've arranged the fresh ingredients on a plate so that they can be identified easily. Moving clockwise from the top they are lime wedges, sliced onions, cooked Basmati rice salted and mixed with chili flakes and chili oil, tamarind paste, shredded cabbage, chili flakes, mung bean vermicelli or glass noodles soaked in boiling hot water and drained, deep-fried onions and garlic, spicy shrimp floss or balachaung, diced potatoes in the center and toasted chickpea flour in the blue dish.

Hand-Tossed Salad
Once all the ingredients are prepped, they're all dumped into a bowl and mixed by hand. As an alternative, the ingredients can be presented in separate bowls and each guest can mix them according to taste.

Season According to Taste
This rainbow salad is easily adapted to each individual's taste by adding more fish sauce to increase saltiness, more lime juice and/or tamarind paste for tartness and more chili flakes/chili oil for spiciness. Served at room temperature or chilled, this salad works well for taking on a picnic or potluck and can also be served as the first course in a Burmese feast.


1/2 cup long-grain rice, cooked
salt to taste
1 Tbsp. chili oil
1 tsp. chili flakes

1 small pkg. mung bean vermicelli, softened in boiling water and drained
1 russet potato, boiled and diced
4 Tbsp. spicy shrimp floss or balachaung
1 onion, sliced in thin crescents
1 cup cabbage, shredded
1 lime, cut in wedges
2 Tbsp. deep-fried onions
2 Tbsp. deep-fried garlic
1/2 cup chickpea flour/besan, toasted
Fish sauce to taste for saltiness
Tamarind paste to taste for tartness

  1. Mix rice with next three ingredients.
  2. Hand-toss rice with remaining ingredients in a large stainless steel bowl.
  3. Squeeze juice from lime wedges and add fish sauce to taste.
  4. Adjust seasoning to balance saltiness (add more fish sauce), tartness (add more lime juice and/or tamarind paste), spiciness (add more chili flakes and chili oil) and umami (add more shrimp floss/powder or balachaung).
Serve chilled or at room temperature as a first course to a Burmese meal.

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