Our first few meals in Myanmar were uninspired, to say the least; the first problem being that we were the only people in the dining room…literally. The second was the completely western menu. I ended up getting some sort of fish steamed in foil and presented on the plate, in the foil, with no sauce or sides. Not exactly what we traveled over 8,000 miles to eat.
You can thus imagine the awkwardness when the chef came out to see how we liked the meal, and after we gave some rave reviews she continued to stand there smiling as if waiting for more praise.
Our last lunch at Inle Lake, however, was traditional Myanmar food and, not surprisingly, was spectacular. I ordered steamed spring onions that were combined with ground rice to make something similar to a tamale.
We ended up just sharing everything we ordered and my favorite dish was the green bean salad with sesame seeds. I set about recreating it as soon as I got home, with a few alterations: the original was quite oily so I reduced the oil and used toasted sesame oil for an extra punch of flavor, and I went with sliced almonds instead of ground peanuts for a crunchier texture (feel free to try peanuts if you like).
- 16oz green beans, cut into ½” segments (about the size of the edamame)
- 8oz edamame (i usually buy frozen)
- 2-3 tbl toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbl fish sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup white sesame seeds
- ¼ cup black sesame seeds
- ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
- salt and pepper
- Blanch the green beans – Get a pot of water boiling and prepare a bowl with plenty of ice and cold water. Add the green beans and edamame to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, strain and immediately add to the ice water. Let sit for a few minutes and then strain.
- Heat up a tbl or two of sesame oil in a large sauté pan. Add edamame and green beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely charred (about 10 minutes). Pour in the fish sauce and soy sauce, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan, and remove from heat.
- Combine beans with sesame seeds and almonds - add salt and pepper if necessary. This dish can be served hot or room temperature - but is also delicious cold a few days later!
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