Like Shan noo­dles? Try Wa soup

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse - KHIN WINE PHYU PHYU khin­wyne­phyu­phyu@mm­times.com

EVEN down here in Yan­gon, they say you’re never more than 100 yards from a Shan noo­dle shop. Or at least, that’s the way it some­times seems.

Shan noo­dles are good for break­fast as well as lunch, and wher­ever you live you don’t need to go all the way down­town in search of them.

Noo­dle sal­ads, Shan noo­dles with or with­out soup, mee­shay salad, myay oh mee­shay (noo­dles cooked in an earth­en­ware pot), malar curry, malar noo­dle, Shan kneaded rice: All abound. Shan foods are sold not only in street stalls but also in sit­down shops. The chef may be Shan, but peo­ple from up­per Myan­mar called An­yarthar also cook Shanstyle food.

If you like Shan and Shan-style foods, try Tant Yann Shan Tra­di­tional Foods on Mitta Street in South Okkalapa for a unique spin on the re­gion: Wa.

Run by Wa en­trepreneurs, Tant Yann of­fers tra­di­tional Wa mote ti among a range of Shan foods on of­fer.

The dish is a sta­ple of north­ern Shan State, in­escapable at cer­e­monies of any de­scrip­tion, in­clud­ing wed­dings. It tastes like Shan noo­dles in soup and, like many home-cooked favourites, can vary con­sid­er­ably from place to place in terms of in­gre­di­ents and de­grees of spici­ness. Even the name might change from one vil­lage to the next. But wher­ever you go, and what­ever they call it, you can bet it will be hot, sour and spicy.

The noo­dles are best made by knead­ing flour, paste and eggs in­stead of us­ing the ready-made va­ri­ety. The main in­gre­di­ents are tomato sauce made with ground chilli and poppy seeds. Fry the gar­lic to taste in sweet-smelling oil and fish sauce while boil­ing wa­ter as if for mo­hinga gravy. Place your hsan zi mishay noo­dles in the boil­ing wa­ter and driz­zle the tomato sauce and sweet oil while sprin­kling the poppy seeds. For more spice, and more au­then­tic lo­cal flavour, add fried chilli and co­rian­der, Ma Nan Sai Ohn from Tant Yan Shan noo­dle shop ad­vised.

Tant Yan it­self has a house tomato sauce al­ready made up in its sparkling-clean kitchen and mixes it with chicken soup at the cus­tomer’s com­mand. This be­ing Yan­gon, the chef will add chicken or pork gravy if asked, though it would not nor­mally come with this dish in the moun­tains. There is no MSG. The price is K1500-K2000 per bowl.

“We’ve been open three years. We didn’t think Wa mote ti would go down well here, but cus­tomers keep or­der­ing it,” said Nan Sai Ohn.

For those who can’t make it to Wa re­gion to try the snack, the shop is open for lunch and din­ner.

Tant Yann serves the Wa dish, which is a sta­ple of wed­dings in north­ern Shan State.

Photos: Nyo Me

A dish of Wa mote ti can be bought at Tant Yann Shan Tra­di­tional Foods in South Okkalapa for K1500 to K2000.

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