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did i eat mohinga?

augustiner Jan 29, 2007 06:17 PM

i had a quick bite at yamo, which i hadn't been to since it went burmese. i know yamo has it's fans, so i thought i'd give it a shot. i ordered the fish chowder under noodle soups, and a young coconut (for which i got an envious inquiry from another patron. they're on the menu! just listed as young coconut juice, but yep, you get the whole coconut.)

the fish chowder didn't really have any identifiable chunks of fish in it. the flesh had broken down into the soup, which had a starch-thickened texture, so the fish was suspended, like egg-drop threads. the noodles were rice vermicelli, and the dish was topped with crunchy chunks of fried yellow split pea fritter and cilantro. the dish didn't seem to have much spice, and i don't know if it is supposed to. i added a scant teaspoon full of chili flakes in oil, which brightened it considerably.

i don't know how i feel about this dish. i appreciate its economy, ($5.25) but the thick, slurry-like soup made it difficult to eat the noodles. and although the flavors were good, and i appreciated the crunchy pea fritters, i wish i could identify the fish used. as the dish cooled down and all of the long noodles were eaten, the pea fritters sort of dissolved into the soup, adding flavors, and the broken bits of leftover noodle were easily scooped with a spoon. so i' d say it was awkward to eat at first, but in the home stretch the flavors really came together.

oh i forgot to ask the ladies there if this was the dish "mohinga," from what i've heard, this sounds like it, albeit a bit watered down and lacking some of the usual garnishes? anyone else? thoughts?

  1. Melanie Wong Jan 29, 2007 06:24 PM

    Sounds like mohinga to me. Here's the photo of the version I had at Yamo -

    Yours sounds better with the crunchy yellow peas and cilantro garnish. Yes, the fish is usually pulverized into bits.

    1. chaddict Jan 29, 2007 11:05 PM

      This may be my least favorite Yamo dish, and I love this place. Try the fish curry next time, lots of fish for the money and very tasty.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chaddict
        augustiner Jan 30, 2007 01:59 AM

        yeah, when i read the posts about yamo afterwards, i didn't really see any positive mentionings of the mohinga. i intend to seek it out elsewhere. i understand that it's kind of everyday, casual eats in burma (or myanmar..) sort of national dish status. thanks for the fish curry tip, i'll try that out next time. the dish i had today seemed to be a bit more involved than melanie's pic above, and those split pea fritter bits were the best part of the dish. it intrigued, but was kind of hard to eat. glad to know that the place has more to offer, especially since it's local to me.

      2. Boythefoodtalksto Jan 30, 2007 10:22 PM

        Mohingha is almost exclusively eaten as breakfast food in Burma. You would not expect to find actual fish chunks in it at all; it is really a full-flavored fish broth which is likely to have some thick slices of palm heart and some chickpeas in it before garnished, served over cooked noodles and then dressed up with various toppings. Shouldn't taste like it has been thickened with anything more than the cooked down ingredients, though it could have chickpea flour (besan) or semolina ( soojee) in it as well. The pea fritters, sliced boiled eggs, fried shallots, and a bit of chili flakes, are all it takes, though there are lots of other things possible. Never tried it here in a restaurant, but no reason why it couldn't be lovely.

        1. l
          Lynda Vuong Feb 4, 2007 11:27 PM

          moh hinga - yup, as the poster above me stated, normally a breakfast soup in Burma. I usually like mine with lots of chili flakes, raw onions and lemon juice.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Lynda Vuong
            augustiner Feb 5, 2007 03:34 AM

            do you have any suggestions in the area for this dish? i felt that i was eating a shadow of a dish that i think i would love, if only i had the chance to sample different incarnations. is the broth usually not thickened, then? eating the noodles from that thick soup was difficult with a fork and spoon. they seemed to resist being lifted from the bowl. my understanding is that chopsticks are not used in burma (like most of southeast asia), but my right hand really wanted to use a pair for leverage. again, any recs would be appreciated. thanks.

            1. re: augustiner
              MysticPhantasy04 Jan 12, 2011 06:11 PM

              I know this is posted a lot time ago... Have you been to Burma SuperStar on clement st in SF? They make the most authentic one... closest to what my mom and grandma makes... =)

              Burma Superstar Restaurant
              309 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

              1. re: MysticPhantasy04
                Robert Lauriston Jan 13, 2011 07:19 AM

                A Burmese friend said the same thing about the mohinga at Burmese Kitchen. They even brought the condiments without us having to ask for them.

                Larkin Express Burmese Kitchen
                452 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

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