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A Dish from Myanmar:


This time in “World Dishes,” we explain how to make a typical dish from the breakfast menu in Myanmar, a dish called “Mohinga.”

The Final Frontier in Asia

Marubeni Yangon Branch
70th Anniversary Party

Today, Myanmar is the subject of intense interest from all over the world, as the country with the greatest potential in Asia. In addition to natural resources resting in land and sea, superiority of geographical proximity to China and India, and an abundant labor force of honest, hard-working people, there are favorable tailwinds of progress in democratization, and countries throughout the world are exploring investment opportunities. As Myanmar will be the host country of ASEAN in 2014, it will surely develop a business environment as an even more democratic nation going forward.

Marubeni launched a branch in Rangoon (currently, Yangon) in 1942 and engaged in the construction of many power stations and plants. The first major project—the the Baluchaung No.2 Hydroelectric Power Plant —was completed in 1960—and it continues to supply electricity without major breakdowns today, more than 50 years later.

Right now, the Tirawa Special Economic Zone Project is capturing attention in particular. The project will develop commercial facilities and industrial parks on vast site measuring 2,400 hectares (the size of 510 Tokyo Domes). The government of Myanmar has high hopes, and as a member of the project Marubeni will engage in the project together with the Japanese government through a joint effort of the public and private sectors.

In 2012, Marubeni launched the first branch office of a Japanese company in the capital city of Nay Pyi Taw, and in order to further enhance its presence in Myanmar going forward, Marubeni will strive to create new business as well.

Myanmar Recommendations —Local report from Marubeni Group employees—
We talked with Ms. Iijima, of the Marubeni Yangon Branch.

City of Yangon

Ninety percent of the population in Myanmar is Buddhist. The people are polite, and they show respect for the elderly. Also, because pro-Japanese sentiment is strong, they greet you warmly at the mere mention of being Japanese.

In addition, Marubeni is particularly well recognized and well received among Japanese companies, having worked with the government of Myanmar for many years, and having frequently been introduced in the newspapers.

If you have the chance to visit Myanmar, I heartily recommend that you visit the Shwegadon Pagoda in Yangdon. This Buddhist pagoda was reportedly built 2,500 years ago, and they say that all Buddhists in Myanmar want to go there at least once in their lives. There are a great many other famous Buddhist ruins as well, including Bagan, the ancient capital of Mandalay, and the like.

Although the staple food in Myanmar is rice, just as in Japan, they have a custom of eating noodles for breakfast. There are myriad varieties, but the most famous among these is Mohinga, which is made of noodles in a catfish soup stock. You can find shops serving Mohinga at every place in the city, and you can enjoy the unique flavor of the Mohinga at each shop. In addition, with the influence of Indian food culture here as well, you can enjoy curry, of course, as well as naan and samosas. With the great variety of cuisine in Myanmar, please be sure to give it a try!

How to make “Mohinga”: Serves 4

Water 2L
Thai fish sauce (nam pla)1 cup
Lemongrass 4 stalks
Rice flour50g
Peanut powder (peanut paste may be substituted) 25g
Garlic (large)1 clove
Ginger 50g
Salad oil 1 scoop (about 75 cc)
Turmeric 1 teaspoon
Chili powder1 teaspoon
Tuna (canned mackerel can be substituted) 3 (small) cans
Somen (fine white noodles) (boil as indicated and strain) 4 servings
Coarsely ground black pepper (season according to taste)
<Toppings> boiled eggs, cilantro, satsumaage (deep-fried patty of fish paste), etc.

* Adjust according to taste for those who do not care much for garlic. This will result in a flavor and aroma that differ from the original, however.

How to make
  1. 1Dice 1 onion and cut 2 stalks of lemongrass into 4 equal parts. Put the water into a large pot and turn on the stove. When the water comes to a boil, put in the onion, lemon grass, and Thai fish sauce (nam pla).
  2. 2Roast the peanuts and grind them in a mortar, or pulverize them in a blender. Add together with rice flour lightly fried in a frying pan over low heat, mix into a paste with a little water, and add to the ingredients in step 1.
  3. 3Chop 2 onions into chunks, peel the garlic and divide it into pieces, cut the lemongrass into small pieces to sever the fiber, cut the ginger so as to sever the fiber as well. Put the ingredients in a blender and blend them.
  4. 4Put the salad oil, turmeric, and chili pepper powder in a frying pan and turn on the stove.
  5. 5Add the ingredients from step 3 to the ingredients in step 4, and then as a substitute for catfish soup stock, add the canned tuna—with the oil in the can—and fry all of the ingredients.
  6. 6Add the ingredients from step 5 to the ingredients in the pot in step 1, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove the lemongrass that you had initially put in, and add coarsely ground black pepper according to taste.
  7. 7Put somen (fine white noodles) in a bowl and pour the soup from the pot over them. Add boiled eggs or cilantro to top it off (satsumaage fish paste patties are also recommended).

Cooperating Restaurant


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From: “Shareholder’s guide Marubeni,” Vol.114 (published in June 2013)

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