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May 25, 2013 02:25 PM

Cookbook of the Month June 2013: BURMA by Naomi Duguid

Well, that was an exciting nomination and voting process, in which I realised that you really can't please all of the people, all of the time!

We've chosen BURMA: RIVERS OF FLAVOR by Naomi
Duguid. Posting threads will go up on the 1st June, but until then we can use this thread for general discussion of the book.

Please note that the nomination process for July will start early as I'm going to Italy in mid-June and would like to get it done and dusted by then, so I'm not worrying about it while I'm away with only an ipad and patchy wi-fi!

Basics, salads, soups, vegetables

Fish & Seafood, Chicken, Beef & Pork

Condiments & Sauces, Rice, Noodles, Sweet Treats

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  1. I will be back home tomorrow if u need help

    1 Reply
    1. re: jpr54_1

      Thanks for the offer, jpr54_1. I've just seen that the contents page for the book can be viewed on Amazon, so I should be able to work from that.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. You did a great job with this more complicated than typical voting process!

        I am going to refrain from buying the book at this point (even though it looks beautiful!), but I will I will I will cook some online recipes. Possibly starting with golden egg curry: http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/10/na...

        1 Reply
        1. re: debbiel

          I'm quite curious about this dish as I've had a Parsi egg curry at a friends house once and it was great.

        2. EYB has links to the following 30 online recipes from Burma:

          • Chicken salad, Burma style

Kachin salsa (Zap toe)

Fried sesame-seed bananas

Lemongrass-ginger sliders

Spice-rubbed jerky

Golden egg curry

River fish celebration

Simmered cabbage, Shan style (Galaam oop)

Smoky napa stir-fry

Succulent pomelo salad

Punchy-crunchy ginger salad (Gyin thoke)

Tender greens salad with crispy fried shallots

Long-bean salad with roasted peanuts

Banana flower salad, Rakhine style

Shrimp salad

Silky Shan soup (Tohu byawk)

Chickpea soup with lemongrass and ginger

Broccoli rabe with a hint of pork

Fried noodles

Coconut sauce noodles (Ohn-no khaut swe)

Kachin pounded beef with herbs

Fish balls

Shrimp curry

Fried shallots

Shallot oil

Dried shrimp powder

Toasted chickpea flour

Chopped roasted peanuts

          • Intensely green spinach and tomato salad with peanuts

          Regardless of whether you are a member, you'll be able to find those links here:


          3 Replies
          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Thanks for the link. I've bookmarked 4 of them to try next month. I'm feeling quite inspired at the moment.

            By the way, some of the links from EYB doesn't work. Is there a way to report it? Or do I have to go through the forums?

            1. re: lilham

              Lilham, go to your EYB bookshelf. Scroll down to the very bottom. On the extreme right you will see "Report an error". Click on that and you will be able to send an e-mail. In a short while you'll get a reply at the e-mail account in your profile. I've done it several times

              1. re: Gio

                Thanks, I've reported it. For anyone who's using this, the recipe links that didn't work for me are the spice-rubbed jerky and kachin salsa.

          2. Ms. Duguid is visiting a few cities including in Eastern Canada mainly talking about Burma and showing photos. For those interested: http://naomiduguid.com/#153/custom_plain

            23 Replies
            1. re: herby

              Those dates are from last year! She did that tour just after the book was published. Unfortunately, I missed her when she was in Ottawa. She was at a local bookstore, and the catering was by a nearby scone shop, which i thought was an odd choice of food to accompany her book talk!

              1. re: pavlova

                You are absolutely right, Pavlova, and thank you for clarifying. I didn't even looked at the year assuming that her site info will be current. Happy to find Ottawa-based ch'er - I thought I was the only one :)

                1. re: herby

                  Oh, I didn't know you were in Ottawa! Glad to hear it!

                  1. re: pavlova

                    I used to have to trek to Ottawa for my burmese fix but there's a new burmese restaurant in Montreal now. I'll be trying it out on Wednesday.

                    1. re: marblebag

                      Seriously Montreal? Much closer to NH than Ottawa (or DC or SF),,,,do tell if it is any good!

                      1. re: marblebag

                        Hah--usually Mr. QN does most of the Burmese cooking, not sure who is on the hook for the COTM cooking next month.....

                        Anyway, I'll convey your thank you to him.

                        Seriously though, 90+% of these recipes can be made without any more "special" or "exotic" ingredients than fish sauce, and maybe dried shrimp.

                        Post Script--Drat, I forgot the Firefox curse again, this post was supposed to reply to LN below...

                        1. re: qianning

                          Hah... Now, that's what I wanted to hear. I read a few chapters with the idea of making my To Cook list and consciously stayed away from from the "hard to find" items. Seriously, I wonder why I still can't find lemongrass and galangal around here !

                          1. re: Gio

                            Hmm, our Nashua area Market Basket carries lemongrass these days, but I can't speak to the ones in your area or groceries on other parts.

                            Fresh galangal can be hit or miss even in Asian groceries; but all most all of them have it frozen whole in the freezer section. But really, a bit of fresh grated ginger will do fine as a sub for galangal.

                            1. re: Gio

                              lemongrass can also be purchased from online herb nurseries
                              that's is where I have purchased most of my asian herb plants

                              1. re: Gio

                                I've found both fresh lemongrass and galangal at HK Market. I suspect the Malden one will have both as well. I've also seen lemongrass at WF as well.

                                1. re: Gio

                                  Market Basket in Somerville carries both all the time these days.

                                2. re: qianning

                                  I noticed the same thing when I was compiling my recipes to try. Surprisingly, there were very few specialty items to purchase.

                                  I did try to find shrimp paste and was only able to find a Maylasian variety. http://www.asiansupermarket365.com/Sh... Do you think this will do? The Thai varieties I saw had oil as an ingredient. I have to admit, after trying a recipe with Belcan a few years ago, I still remember (fear?) the powerful odor. I think my husband might have objected when we were shopping yesterday if he knew what I was buying.:


                                  I am also still looking for the soybean disks. I did not see them on the sites you linked (and thank you for sharing them). Did I miss them?

                                  The Memorial Day weekend turned out to be a great time to prepare for Burma. I made the dried shrimp powder, tart-sweet chile-garlic sauce, chopped roasted nuts, toasted chickpea flour, red chile powder and fried shallots. Unfortunately I'll have to re-do the shallots. I only made half a recipe and I think my oil temperature was a bit too high too. They looked done as I removed them from the oil, but in the time I removed them and put them on paper towels to drain, they had gone from golden brown to a very dark brown making them bitter. Will try again.

                                  1. re: BigSal

                                    I hear you about the shrimp paste, haha! My family strictly forbids me to toast it in the house. I occasionally try to sneak a small amount into a dish while in the kitchen, hoping no-one will notice, but it doesn't seem to matter how much or little of this ingredient you use, it still unleashes the full pungent glory of its scent upon the world!
                                    In "Burma", Duguid mentions that she uses Koon Chun brand shrimp paste (tho it's called fine shrimp sauce), which you should be able to find in any Thai grocer. I have both the paste in a tub and the hard belacan in block form, and they both seem to work well..

                                    1. re: Allegra_K

                                      Thanks for the tip! I'll look for the Koon Chun shrimp sauce.

                                    2. re: BigSal

                                      We always use Thai shrimp paste--two ingredients, shrimp and salt. Depending on availability, there are two brands we use, "Trachang Brand" which comes in a small white plastic container with a yellow label, and which we prefer because it has a higher ratio shrimp:salt. There's another brand we use, but I don't have any in the house and can't remember the name-it is long and Thai--it comes in a plastic container with a red top and red white and blue label, IIRC. But then again, we are the types who like shrimp paste....for those who can't stand the stuff (or have Dining Companions who can't), fish sauce is a good substitute in most dishes.

                                      The soybean discs are available on minthila web site, in Burmese "Peal Poke" (or per minthila Peal pork!), in Shan "tua nao"
                                      here is the link to the product.

                                      My sympathy on the garlic. I've burned more batches than I care to recall.

                                      1. re: qianning

                                        I see on this website you linked to that they also do international orders....and I'm very curious about the tea leaves as well. Is this a tasty enough salad that it would be worth it to order them? (And thanks for the clarification of the soybean discs-I would never have known the peal pork was the same thing!)

                                        ETA:Never mind about the tea leaves. Shipping is atrocious.

                                        1. re: qianning

                                          Thanks for the tip on subbing fish sauce for shrimp paste. My partner won't let it in the house but he can handle fish sauce.

                                          1. re: qianning

                                            Thanks for the help finding the soybean discs AND the tip on using fish sauce as a substitute for shrimp paste. Not having to overcome the odor of the paste may help the Mr. warm up to some new flavors this month. Wish me luck!

                                            P.S. My second batch of fried shallots is still a little darker than I wanted, but workable. They are so crispy and sweet...very addicting!

                                          2. re: BigSal

                                            I feel the same way about shrimp paste. I used it once and it seemed like it was a month later when we all finally stopped smelling it. Yikes.

                                          3. re: qianning

                                            qianning - No matter where your post ends up, I appreciate your help! I've placed my order! I'm dying to try that tea salad.

                                            1. re: qianning

                                              I just received my order of fermented tea leaves! I haven't opened the plastic wrap yet, but I'm impressed with the rapid delivery! I'm 3,000 miles away, and it arrived in a couple of days!

                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                what is the complete name of the product at the site/
                                                did u purchase anything else?

                                            2. re: marblebag

                                              Was it Rangoon you were visiting? I went a couple of weeks ago and found it very ordinary, but maybe we didn't order the right things. What's the name of the one in Montreal? Maybe it's time for me to make the trek!