I never had tasted Burmese food before, but a friend made this dish at my in-laws home for dinner and I enjoyed it immensely. I asked her for some pointers and then tried to recreate it at home.
I tried a shortcut instead of stewing whole tomatoes….but which still tastes really great.
Rough chop 1/2 a yellow onion and
3 tablespoons minced garlic.
Sauté in 2 teaspoons of grape seed oil until onions are softened and translucent, heat on medium high.
Add 1 jar of tomato basil marinara sauce (got ours from TJs, who also offers an organic option if that’s important to you.)
Reduce heat to medium and stew for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil water for the rice stick noodles. Ours happened to be Thai. These are medium-thick and flat, clear-white noodles. I personally enjoy the texture and flavor of these noodles, a tad more than Italian spaghetti.
Before putting noodles in, we are going to blanch and skin a fresh tomato. So, prime the tomato by washing and then gently slicing a cross at the top of the skin. Once the water is boiling, gently lower the tomato in and leave it for 2-3 minutes. When you remove the tomato (carefully!) you should be able to easily remove the skin with tongs. Then, chop and add to the nice simmering sauce.
Now, it is time to add the spices.
1/3 tsp Chinese five spice.
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 tablespoons crushed red pepper
1 tsp parsley (dried or fresh)
1/2 tsp salt
5 teaspoons turmeric
1 bay leaf
The longer the simmer, the better. But, this can be done quickly.
Now, take 1/2 cup of whole peanuts and whizz them in a food processor or the dry container of a powerful blender. You only need to do this for about 45 seconds before the peanuts are small.
Also whizz up fresh cilantro. Half a pound works.
When you are ready and the sauce and spices are mingling and heated, add 1 pound of the ground meat of your choice. I used 99% fat free turkey meat, however ground chicken or pork will work nicely too. Cook thoroughly.
Use the boiling water to boil 1/2 pound of the noodles: they should take 6-8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, and toss with two tablespoons of your preferred oil.
This serves six adults comfortably and takes about an hour from start to finish.