In Myanmar – Ham Choy is Monnyinjin

I was walking through a market in Myanmar (modern day Burma) when I  noticed a familiar sight.

It looked like ham choy.

I went closer and sniffed.

It smelled like ham choy.

Could it be ham choy?

We were in the Shan State of Myanmar, high in the mountains of the Nyuangshwe Township, around Burma’s famous Inle Lake.  Myanmar is bordered by India, China, Laos and Thailand.  In the faces of its people (*)  you can see its mixed ethnic heritage and in the food, the flavors of India and China are heavily apparent.

Myanmar’s population is 3% Chinese with Han roots from Fujian, Guangdong and Yunnan.   Hokkien, Cantonese and Hakka histories are all present here.   It’s no surprise to find familiar foods in regional specialties.

Mohnnyin tjin (မုန်ညင်းချဉ်) is one of those specialties. The name translates to ‘sour mustard greens’ and the recipe involves cold pickling vegetables with salt, sugar, rice, vinegar and spices.  While mustard greens are typical, white radish leaves and almost any other vegetable are also used.

Sound familiar?

How about  a Burmese dish made with ‘Three-Layer Pork with Mustard Greens and Tofu‘ from Naomi Duguid‘s cookbook “Burma: Rivers of Flavor”?

Definitely familiar.

Unfortunately I never had a chance to taste the dish in Myanmar.  However Eating Asia‘s blog post on the recipe and process reads almost identical to making ham choy and pork. If I ever go back  I’ll have to seek the dish out and tell you what it tastes like.

(*) For a look at the faces of Burmese people, see  Myanmar Portraits in my sister blog TheSandyChronicles.com

Myanmar.  January 2017

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