|Place of origin||Myanmar|
|Main ingredients||Catfish, vermicelli noodles, fish sauce, fish paste, ginger, banana stem, lemongrass, onions, garlic, chickpea flour|
Mohinga (Burmese: မုန့်ဟင်းခါး; MLCTS: mun.hang: hka:, IPA: [mo̰ʊɰ̃hɪ́ɰ̃ɡá]) is a rice noodle and fish soup from Myanmar and is an essential part of Burmese cuisine. It is considered by many to be the national dish of Myanmar. It is readily available in most parts of the country. In major cities, street hawkers and roadside stalls sell dozens of dishes of mohinga to the locals and passers-by. Usually eaten for breakfast, today the dish is being consumed more and more throughout the day.
History and origins
The origins of mohinga are difficult to pinpoint in the absence of extant records. Food processing tools dating to the Pyu city-states used to ferment rice have been discovered, leading to the conclusion that the tradition of making rice vermicelli, the key starch used in mohinga, has a long history. The earliest reference to mohinga dates to the Konbaung dynasty, in the poet U Ponnya's alinga verse poem. Burmese history researcher Khin Maung Nyunt has concluded that during pre-colonial times, mohinga was likely a commoner's dish, as a recipe for "mohinga" has not been found in palatial records and cookbooks. During the latter half of Bagyidaw's reign, a poet by the name of U Min emerged and referenced "mohinga" as "mont di" (မုန့်တီ) in a poetry competition. While mont ti largely refers to another set of dishes in modern-day Myanmar, a small minority continues uses "mont ti" in reference to mohinga. Various regions in the country also call mohinga simply "mont" (မုန့်) or "mont hin" (မုန့်ဟင်း).
There are different varieties of mohinga in various regions of Myanmar. Rakhine mohinga has more fish paste and less soup. Its ingredients depend on their availability. However, the standard dish comes from southern Myanmar, where fresh fish is more readily available. The main ingredients of mohinga are chickpea flour and/or crushed toasted rice, garlic, shallots, onions, lemongrass, banana tree stems, ginger, fish paste, fish sauce, and catfish or other types of fishes, like Mrigal carp in a rich broth cooked and kept on the boil in a cauldron. It is served with rice vermicelli, dressed and garnished with fish sauce, a squeeze of lime, crisp fried onions, coriander, spring onions, crushed dried chillis, and, as optional extras, crisp fried fritters such as split chickpeas (pè gyaw) (ပဲကြော်), urad dal (baya gyaw) (ဗယာကြော်) or gourd (bu thee gyaw) (ဘူးသီးကြော်) or sliced pieces of Chinese donuts (အီကြာကွေး), as well as boiled egg and fried nga hpè fish cake (ငါးဖယ်ကြော်).
It is perhaps the most popular breakfast dish of all, now available as an "all-day breakfast" in many towns and cities. Mohinga is also served with all the trimmings at formal functions and it is also sold in dry packets as a ready-made powder that is used for making the broth. Street hawkers are the original purveyors of this popular dish doing the rounds through neighborhoods where they have regular customers. They carry the soup cauldron on a stove on one side of a shoulder pole and rice vermicelli and other ingredients along with bowls and spoons on the other. It used to be available only early in the morning and at street pwès or open air stage performances and zat pwès or itinerant theatres at night. Trishaw peddlers began to appear in the 1960s and some of them set up pavement stalls making mohinga available all day.
A mohinga trishaw peddler in Mandalay will stop for customers.
- "Burmese Food Primer: Essential Dishes To Eat In Myanmar". Food Republic. 2017-02-22. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
- Bush, Austin. "10 foods to try in Myanmar -- from tea leaf salad to Shan-style rice". CNN. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
- "Mohinga: Myanmar's National Dish". The Slow Road Travel Blog. 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2018-07-09.