This is a recipe that my mother recalls eating during the nine days of the vegetarian festival. Each year on the first day of the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, usually late September or early October, it was a tradition that the Chinese descendants followed in order to gain merit.
As the name suggests, this dish of rice noodles and fish soup packs a punch. A perfect way to warm your cockles during the winter. It makes me think of mohingar as there are similarities, yet it has its own distinct taste. This dish comes from Rakhine state on the west coast of Burma.
One of the advantages of living in Sydney is having a friend turn up with a banana bud cut freshly from his garden. I decide to make a Burmese-style thote; a fragrant, light yet substantial salad tossed in a salty, sour and spicy dressing.
The autumnal weather in Sydney makes me long for the endless humid days of Asia. Flicking through the photographs we took in Malaysia last year, Christopher and I reminisce about all the fabulous food we ate there. It inspires us to walk down to Paddy’s market despite dark looming clouds and pick up a few ingredients for lunch.
I have been dreaming of eating Shan noodles recently and realises nearly 5 years have passed since we were in Nyaung Shwe. It is time to recreate that memorable dish of noodles in chicken soup and tangy mustard greens. A great winter warmer.
Our summer in Kuala Lumpur has been hugely rewarding. There’s a mountain of photographs Christopher and I took, the majority are of the food we ate. We discovered some fantastic places to eat so here’s the Malaysian food special continued…
Christopher and I are back in KL, Malaysia. When we were here in 2006, we soon discovered that there was a wealth of unknown cuisines that we wanted to explore. My great grandfather’s descendants are here and I tap into their knowledge of local food. Fish head noodle soup is one of these serendipity.
After a day in the back of a car, travelling along bumpy roads with hardly any loo-stops, we arrived at Nyaung Shwe, a town at the edge of Inle Lake. This fresh water lake is in Shan State, a place my mother remembers fondly. Before I was
born, she lived in the Shan hills with my father for a couple of years before returning to Rangoon.
Inle Lake is on most tourist circuits, known for the water villages where Intha people live in houses built on stilts and fisherman have a unique way of rowing a boat with one leg. After a day of sightseeing, my focus was back on food and on top of my list was Shan noodles.