Myanmar – Mont Di

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by Fauzan Anandika

Human in different countries has their definition for beauty, like the Padaung race in Myanmar that is known for their long neck. The women citizens use metal rings on their necks to make it longer. The ring firstly braces at the age of 5 and add continuously during their life. The rings could reach 9 kg, and the local citizen believes that the neck muscle stops growing in this woman, releasing it will cause death to the woman. But after research, the neck muscle did not stop growing but, the ring makes their shoulder lowered.

For many centuries women in the Padaung tribe prettify their necks using brass rings. Women from the Padaung tribe are also known as giraffe women. But now, the young women don’t apply this tradition again because the ring limiting their movement. Many people still curious why the Padaung women use the brass ring on their necks. According to the local story, they believe that they were dragon descendants, and that ring makes the woman like a mythical creature.
Each ring has 3 kilograms of weight and can cause bruises and back pain. Women from Padaung village put a cloth below each ring to prevent them from scratch. The millennial teenager starts to refuse to use this ring, and the tradition begins to fade away.

Despite their unique tradition, Myanmar also has many delicious dishes that need to taste when visiting Myanmar. Myanmar people also eat noodles as their main staple. One of the noodle dishes is Mont Di. A noodle dish that uses thick vermicelli and cooks with a fish soup. To cook Mont Di, they use a Nga-pi fish, an endemic dish from Myanmar. To get a better taste, Mont Di usually serve with a side of Nga-shwe, an ell covered with crispy flour.

Mont Di become one of the tourist’s favorite dishes. Some tourists acknowledge it as a fast-food even it was a traditional food because it served quickly.

Ingredient

Toasted Rice

  • ½ cup of jasmine rice grain

Broth

  • 3 liters of water
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper powder
  • 2 teaspoons of white pepper powder
  • 5 sheets of dried bay leaves
  • 3 stalks of lemongrass, crushed and sliced
  • 5 cm of ginger, thin sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 kg of catfish fillet

Soup

  • 20 ml of vegetable oil
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, thin sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cm of ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 shallots, dice cut
  • 4 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • Salt

Serving

  • 400 gram of vermicelli
  • 30-gram coriander leaves, chopped
  • 4 pieces of boiled egg, slice into two-part
  • 2 pieces of lime, cut into four-part
  • 2 shallots, thin sliced

How to cook

Toasted rice

  1. Heat oven up to 350 degrees Celsius.
  2. Pour rice into a baking sheet, bake for 30 minutes and stir every 10 minutes.
  3. Wait until the rice cools down and grind to make rice flour.

Broth

  1. For the broth, prepare a boiling pot.
  2. Add water, black pepper, white pepper, bay leaves, ginger, and lemongrass.
  3. Cook until boiling.
  4. Add catfish fillet, cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the catfish carefully and keep the broth.
  6. Strain the broth, wash the pot and add the strained broth again.
  7. Boil the broth until thickened.

Soup

  1. In another big frying pan, prepare the soup.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil.
  3. Add lemongrass, garlic, and ginger fry for 2 minutes.
  4. Add catfish fillet, paprika, and turmeric, cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Pour the mixture into the broth and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Add shallot and fish sauce. Adjust the taste with salt.

Serving

  1. Boil water in a different pot.
  2. Add vermicelli, cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain the vermicelli and divide it into four portions.
  4. Add vermicelli into a serving bowl.
  5. Pour the broth.
  6. Garnish with coriander leaves, egg, lime, and sliced shallot.
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