Burma Superstar: Addictive Recipes from the Crossroads of Southeast Asia

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9781607749509: Burma Superstar: Addictive Recipes from the Crossroads of Southeast Asia

From the beloved San Francisco restaurant, a mouthwatering collection of recipes, including Fiery Tofu, Garlic Noodles, the legendary Tea Leaf Salad, and many more. Never before have the vivid flavors of Burmese cooking been so achievable for home cooks.

Known for its bustling tables, the sizzle of onions and garlic in the wok, and a wait time so legendary that customers start to line up before the doors even open—Burma Superstar is a Bay Area institution, offering diners a taste of the addictively savory and spiced food of Myanmar. With influences from neighboring India and China, as well as Thailand and Laos, Burmese food is a unique blend of flavors, and Burma Superstar includes such stand-out dishes as the iconic Tea Leaf Salad, Chili Lamb, Pork and Pumpkin Stew, Platha (a buttery layered flatbread), Spicy Eggplant, and Mohinga, a fish noodle soup that is arguably Myanmar’s national dish.

Each of these nearly 90 recipes has been streamlined for home cooks of all experience levels, and without the need for special equipment or long lists of hard-to-find ingredients. Stunningly photographed, and peppered with essays about the country and its food, this inside look at the world of Burma Superstar presents a seductive glimpse of this jewel of Southeast Asia.

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About the Author:

DESMOND TAN was born in Burma and came to San Francisco when he
was 11 years old. He has grown Burma Superstar into four thriving, unique
locations (with a fifth on the way). In 2014, he launched Mya Foods, the first Bay
Area company to import Burmese ingredients--most notably laphet, Burma's
famous fermented tea leaves.

KATE LEAHY co-authored A16 Food + Wine, the IACP Cookbook of the Year and recipient of the IACP Julia Child First Book Award; SPQR; The Preservation Kitchen, which Eater.com ranked as one of the most notable books of the year; and Cookie Love, an NPR Best Book of 2015.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

What is Burmese Food?

If you head down Pansodan Street in Yangon’s historic downtown district, the view of the century-old colonial architecture is often obscured by makeshift stalls serving samosas, hand-mixed noodle salads, and steaming bowls of mohinga, a fish noodle soup that is, for all intents and purposes, Myanmar’s national dish.

This scene of street stalls is repeated all over the city. In the morning and late afternoon, tea shops fill with workers downing their first cup of tea brewed the color of burnt caramel and lightened with condensed and evaporated milks. For lunch at a popular restaurant like Feel, customers point at dishes set out on the counter and then sit down and wait as servers bring small plates to the table in rapid-fire fashion. To escape the afternoon heat, locals pop into shops serving sweetened yogurt drinks or a “heart cooler”—coconut milk served over agar jelly, tapioca pearls, and ice. Before dinner, people line up in front of vendors frying up the Burmese answer to tempura. Like the rest of the country, the city grows quiet at night, with the exception of 19th Street, which turns into an open-air market where you can pick and choose from stalls offering skewers of whole fish, squid, pork intestine, or mushrooms. Pitchers of Myanmar beer tide over groups of customers while the stalls grill selections.

Eating in Yangon means sampling a range of culinary traditions, from regional ethnic foods to dishes adapted from neighboring countries, especially China and India. No matter which heritage hits the table, one thing is certain: it’s easy to find a dish—or several—that you can’t wait to eat again.
GARLIC NOODLES

Some form of this comfort dish is made in nearly every corner of Asia, and it has long been a popular item both in Myanmar and at Burma Superstar. While the noodles, which get their flavor from fried garlic and garlic-infused oil, are respectable on their own, some like to beef up the dish with shredded duck, barbecue pork, sautéed shrimp, or stir-fried mushrooms and broccoli. Anything goes. The trickiest part of making garlic noodles is ensuring the garlic doesn’t burn. In this recipe, the garlic is pulled off the heat and left to cool in the oil. If you want to safeguard the process a bit more, set up a heat-proof bowl with a mesh strainer. When the garlic reaches a deep golden color, pour the garlic through the strainer to stop the cooking. 

SERVES 4

1⁄4 cup canola oil
4 tablespoons minced garlic
3⁄4 cup sliced red onion or shallot, soaked in water and drained
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1⁄2 cup sriracha
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
12 ounces fresh wide wonton noodles or dried Chinese wheat noodles
1 (5-inch) cucumber (or half an English cucumber), thinly sliced
3 green onions (white and green parts), thinly sliced

In a small pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of the garlic, set the heat to low, and fry, swirling the pot frequently, until the garlic is nearly golden in color, no more than 3 minutes. (If the garlic starts to darken too quickly, pull the pot off the heat, swirl the oil, and let the garlic continue to fry off the heat for 30 seconds before returning it to the heat.) Because the garlic can burn quickly, watch the pot the whole time while the garlic fries.

Immediately pour the oil into a heatproof bowl and let it cool. The garlic will continue to cook and turn golden as it sits. If the garlic is already golden brown before you take it off the heat and it looks like it might burn if left in the hot oil, all is not lost. Pour the oil through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl to remove the garlic from the oil and stop it from cooking further. Once the oil has cooled a bit, return the garlic to the oil.

Add the onions and soy sauce to garlic.

In a small serving bowl, stir together the sriracha, the remaining 1 tablespoon of garlic, the ginger, sugar, salt, and water.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring often with chopsticks, until nearly soft all the way through, about 4 minutes or until tender but still slightly chewy. Drain in a colander and rinse briefly under cool running water. Give the colander a shake to remove excess water.

Return the noodles to the pot. Pour in the garlic–soy sauce mixture and add the cucumbers. Give the noodles a good stir with a pair of tongs, then divide among bowls. Top with the green onions. Serve with sriracha sauce.

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Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. An eclectic collection of 80 achievable yet spectacular recipes from famed SanFrancisco Bay Area Burmese restaurant, Burma Superstar.For years, Bay Area residents and out-of-towners have packed the house--andlined up out the door--for the salads, curries, rice, and stir-fries served at BurmaSuperstar, a beloved Burmese restaurant with four locations in the San FranciscoBay Area. This collection of recipes includes favorites like Tea Leaf Salad, SamosaSoup, Pumpkin Pork Stew, Garlic Noodles, and Black Rice Pudding that have madethe group of restaurants one of the most recognizable in the Bay Area but it alsotakes readers into the kitchens of Burmese home cooks, whose style of cookingdrives menu inspiration. As Burma--now called Myanmar--opens up to the worldafter a half century of seclusion, there has never been a more exciting time toshare the multi-ethnic flavors of Burma Superstar. Bookseller Inventory # 5644336

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