Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bu Thee Gyaw (Crispy Gourd Fritters)

Bu Thee Gyaw (Crispy Gourd Fritters) are one of the most popular traditional snack foods in Myanmar.

ALMOST everywhere you go in Myanmar you will see men and women squatting by the side of the road next to a blazing fire, tending a frying pan half-filled with oil is placed.

These street vendors are preparing bu thee gyaw or crispy gourd fritters, a popular Myanmar snack food.

The dish consists of gourd strips dipped in a rice flour batter and deep-fried in smoking-hot oil.

This snack is most frequently sold on the street, at intersections, bus stops and markets, but can also be ordered in restaurants.

By far the most authentic way to enjoy this snack, however, is at small roadside teashops that are found all over Myanmar.

While waiting for the oil to heat, the vendor prepares the fritters. A young tender gourd is cut into finger-like strips before being soaked in the batter. When wisps of smoke start to rise from the surface of the oil, the gourd fingers are dropped in and are not taken out until they turn golden brown.

Small tables nearby bear a couple of tea cups, a pot of plain tea, a plate of lettuce, coriander leaves, and a small dish of sauce. Low stools stand around the tables waiting for customers to fill them.

The sauce served with bu thee gyaw is a concoction of hot chilli pulp, garlic and tamarind juice.

While you wait for your snack to be prepared you can drink tea, which is on the house, and watch the gourd fritters swimming in the oil while the fire underneath crackles and blazes.

At last the bu thee gyaw come out of the sizzling oil and are placed on your table. They are usually eaten with lettuce, coriander leaves and the spicy chilli, garlic and tamarind sauce, with hot tea as a chaser.

For lazy cooks, it is a great makeshift meal. You dip a bite-sized fritter in the sauce, add a morsel of steamed rice and top it with a lettuce leaf for a complete meal. It also makes an easy, quick and cheap appetiser for those times when guests drop by unexpectedly.

So some people say “At least once a week we cannot help eating bu thee gyaw”.

This simple food was even the preferred snack of the Myanmar kings, or so the story goes.

If you would like to try making your own gourd fritters, here's the recipe:

one large young gourd
200 grams of rice flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sodium bicarbonate
½ litre water
½ litre oil for frying

Slice the gourd into thin fingers. Mix the rice flour, salt, sodium bicarbonate and water to make a runny batter. Heat the oil. Once the oil starts to smoke, dip the gourd fingers into the batter and fry until golden brown. And then, enjoy!

14 comments:

hninwityee said...

After reading about your "Bu Thee Gyaw", i become wanna go back and eat :). I miss my country and myanmar food so much :).

minthu said...

wow!! that awesome, look very yummy!!
thanks for recipe, i gonna make for myself and my friends!! Moreover, it is like kfc's slogan "finger licking good".

Cho Mi Htet said...

I saw ur "Bu Thee Gyaw" photo, I miss my Uni Student Life. When I attended Uni i went to eat "Bu Thee Gyaw" at "Kan Baung" with my friends. I really love to eat "Bu Thee Gyaw" with "Mond Him Gar".

THIN ZAR MYO MYINT said...

Right! I second Inya Lake (Kan Baung) feeling with "Bu Thee Gyaw". I also enjoy to eat "Bu Thee Gyaw" beside "Kan Baung" :)

EPT said...

I wanna go back to my home country & eat Bu thee kyaw after looking at ur blog's figures. I miss home & myanmar food so much. I think ur blog fulfilled my desire partly.

Hajar said...

Could have sworn that I ate this during one of the trade fairs and it was one of the first Myanmar food that I ate! After seeing the recipe, I realize that we have something similar to this. Just that we don't fry gourds. Fyi, I don't eat gourds but this tastes exceptionally good. :)

Gao Shuang said...

it seems really very delicous, is there any restraunts here in singapore? pls tell us, then, we may go to have a try during our recess week:P

THIN ZAR MYO MYINT said...

Correct, Gao! it's very delicious. we can go and eat at 111 North Bridge Road, #B1-07 (A/B), Peninsula Plaza during our recess week. please make an appointment in advance :D

Phyo Han Kyaw said...

Don't forget to call me if our group go to eat Bu Thee Gyaw!

^_~

THIN ZAR MYO MYINT said...

Okay...Okay!!! Sure, i will call u. Don't worry about it :D

Dennis said...

I dont usually happen to eat this..

eik said...

Wow..!!What a mouth-watering gourd fritter!! i wish i could take it with lettuce,corriander leaves,chilli sauce and hot plain tea as soon as possible

Wang Ting said...

Lovely..
I love this post!

THIN ZAR MYO MYINT said...

Hello Wang,

Thanks :)