Mohinga is a traditional Burmese noodle soup, and it is considered the national dish of Myanmar. The soup is usually made with fish and fish sauce, but this recipe is vegetarian and does not contain fish.
Mohinga is sometimes served for breakfast, but it can be enjoyed at any time of the day. The dish is often sold by street vendors, but it is also a popular dish to order at restaurants or to cook at home.
One of the key ingredients is the rice noodles, which is made from rice flour and water. The noodles used for mohinga are thin and round, and have a slightly chewy texture, that goes well with the soup.
Recipe & Notes from Chef Nge Nge, Borderline Tea Garden Restaurant & Cafe in Mae Sot
Banana stem: Some Asian grocery stores will have banana stem in stock, but if you cannot find banana stem, you might have more luck finding banana flower, which can also be used. Other alternatives with slightly similar texture are palm hearts and zucchini.
Mushroom vegetarian sauce: We are using vegetarian mushroom sauce (Healthy Boy Mushroom Vegetarian Sauce, a brand from Thailand) but if you don’t have mushroom sauce, you can use soy sauce or oyster sauce (not vegetarian).
Rice flour: We are using rice flour to thicken the soup, but you can use any kind of thickener you like. If you don’t have rice flour in your pantry, you can use corn starch or regular wheat flour instead.
Pe Kyaw: In Myanmar, mohinga is often garnished with long beans, boiled egg, cilantro and Pe Kyaw, which is a thin cracker made with yellow split peas. I will try to get the recipe next time I am visiting Borderline Collective. If you don’t have pe kyaw, you can serve the soup with pita bread or naan bread.
If you are following the recipe in Mo Mo & Bo Bo’s Kitchen (the cookbook from Tea Garden at Borderline Collective), please be aware that it is slightly different from the recipe featured here (both instructions and ingredients. This is chef Nge Nge’s modified version.
About Borderline Collective in Mae Sot, Thailand
Borderline Collective is located in Mae Sot, which is about the closest you get to Myanmar, while still being on the Thai side of the border. The shop/restaurant/art gallery/creative space was started with the purpose of supporting migrant and refugee women from Myanmar, by helping the women sell their handmade products. The women are organized in smaller, autonomous, collectives based in the small villages along the border, and Borderline Collective provides a space for the women to showcase their products, and thus reach a larger customer base.