An Easy Kitchen Staple from Myanmar

When I was younger — quite a few years ago now, really! — I went with a good group of girlfriends to (wild and crazy) Sacramento and San Francisco for a bachelorette party. While in Sac, we visited one of my oldest friends, Anna, at her place at the time, and she took us to an awesome restaurant in San Francisco called Burma Superstar. We ate family style and tried a ton of different dishes; I was instantly hooked. It’s one of those restaurant experiences that I’ve never forgotten, and I try to visit every time I’m in San Francisco. My sister was even an awesome sport and went even though she was scared to try something from a country in Asia she may or may not have heard of previously.

A few years ago, Rajan bought me a book called Burma: Rivers of Flavor. It is absolutely fabulous. It is one of the most used cookbooks in my collection, and it is packed-full of spicy, salty, lick-your-fingers goodness.

Awesome recipe book
Awesome recipe book

In some ways, I had a hard time picking just one recipe from this book, and this may not be the last one I highlight. I still haven’t attempted the fish curry/stew that is well-known in Myanmar and was highlighted during Anthony Bourdain’s trip in Parts Unknown. And equally as often as this beef curry recipe, I make a chicken recipe that Rajan absolutely adores from the ethnic-Nepalese living in Myanmar.

Beautiful, tasty colors of food.
Beautiful, tasty colors of food.

This recipe, Saucy Spiced Meat and Potatoes, is an easy recipe suitable for a weeknight or for a large dinner party. When I get tired of using ground meat to make tacos, burgers, or meatballs, this recipe is an awesome way to turn a pound of the stuff into something warming and magical. Plus, what American can’t get down with a little bit of meat and potatoes?

Meat and potatoes... mmmm
Meat and potatoes… mmmm

As Ms. Duguid describes in her book, this recipe is highly versatile. I personally always follow the alternative ingredients at the bottom of the page in the book and add green chiles to add an extra kick. When I made it for the blog, I also took her suggestion and added mushrooms. In a pinch once, I even used cauliflower instead of potatoes when I had the former and not the latter.

This is a recipe not to be missed, and I think it will become a staple of your culinary repertoire too!


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