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Burmese salads

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Laphet thoke Burmese salads (Burmese: ?????; transliterated athoke or athouk) are a diverse category of indigenous salads in Burmese cuisine. Burmese salads are made of cooked and raw ingredients that are mixed by hand to combine and balance a wide-ranging array of flavors and textures. Burmese salads are eaten as standalone snacks, as side dishes paired with Burmese curries, and as entrees. The iconic laphet thoke (fermented tea leaf salad) is traditionally eaten as a palate cleanser at the end of a meal.


Table of contents
  1. Ingredients
  2. List of Burmese salads
  3. Regional adaptations
  4. See also

Ingredients

Burmese salads are typically centered on one major ingredient, ranging from starches (e.g., rice and noodles) and cooked ingredients (e.g., Burmese fritters and proteins) to raw fruits and vegetables. Common starches used in Burmese salads include rice, egg noodles, rice vermicelli, rice noodles, and potatoes. Burmese salads may also feature raw vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes, cabbage, onions, kaffir lime, long beans, and mangoes. Fermented ingredients, including lahpet (pickled tea leaves), ngapi (fish paste), pon ye gyi (fermented bean paste), and pickled ginger, also feature prominently in several classic Burmese salads.

The salad ingredients are dressed with various seasonings, including chili oil, garlic oil, and sesame oil, toasted chickpea flour, lime juice, fish sauce, tamarind paste, peanuts, and fried garlic, and then thoroughly mixed by hand. Aromatic fresh herbs like coriander, mint, lime leaves, and green onions are also used to garnish Burmese salads.


List of Burmese salads

While the repertoire of Burmese salads has not been codified, Burmese salads are invariably suffixed with the word "-thoke" (????; lit. 'to mix by hand') in the Burmese language. Burmese salads are typically named after the salad's central ingredient (e.g., pomelo, ginger, etc.). Common Burmese salads are listed below.

Fermented products Vegetables and herbs Fruits Seafood and meat Rice and noodles Other
Regional adaptations

Cambodia

Mee kola (Khmer: ?????? or ??????), commonly called Burmese-style noodles, is a Cambodian noodle dish that originated among the Kola people, who originally descended from Burmese migrants to Cambodia's northwest. The noodle salad consists of steamed rice vermicelli, cooked with soy sauce and garlic chives, and served with pickled vegetables (e.g., papaya, carrot, and cucumber), hardboiled eggs, sweet garlic fish sauce, dried shrimp, and crushed peanuts, and garnished with lime and chili flakes. The dish has become a popular street food in Cambodia.

India

Following the 1962 Burmese coup d'tat, over 300,000 Burmese Indians returned to their ancestral homes in India. Many refugees settled in the port city of Madras (now Chennai), where a community around Burma Bazaar in George Town formed. Burmese Indian refugees there became street hawkers, selling a dish locally called atho (????), which is an adaptation of khauk swe thoke, the Burmese noodle salad. Atho is a mixture of noodles, shredded cabbage and onions garnished with tamarind, salt, fried onions, chili flakes, garlic and ajinomoto seasoning.


See also

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