This weekend, my aunt and uncle were among donors who were hosting an ah-hlu pwe (donation ceremony) at the monastery, which entails feeding whoever comes to the monastery. It probably sounds totally strange to feed people you may not know personally, but it’s part of Burmese culture, to be generous and giving, whether it’s money, labor or prayer. So I went on Sunday to support them and eat some tasty Burmese food. I love that idea: to give through food.

They were serving Myeik kat-kyi-hnyat, which are basically pan-fried flat noodles with egg, shrimp, beans and chicken, from Myeik, a coastal town famous for its seafood. It’s the closest thing to a Burmese version of a Thai pad see ew and pad thai hybrid, except no soy sauce is used. The noodles were surprisingly spicy, but still tasty, although it was missing bean sprouts. I also got fried egg rolls with ah-chin (sliced cucumbers and chili with a zest of lemon) to go with it.

As for dessert, my aunt was serving shwe yin aye, a Burmese dessert drink made of coconut milk, boiled tapioca balls and agar jelly.


– Justin


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