Thursday, September 21, 2017

Smokin' snakes

This week I bring you another stovetop smoker recipe, this time featuring nga yant (snakehead fish). It’s easy to get at any wet market, and you can buy them whole or just the body. The heads are sold separately for fish-head curry.

The flesh has a strong pink colour and is always quite heavy or meaty. You can ask your fishmonger to clean the fish for you and take the skin off.

For this recipe, I was inspired by a Japanese fusion dish of grilled tuna with spices. Tuna is very expensive, but nga yant is cheap and has a nice texture and flavour. You can grill it, fry or deep-fry it, or use it in curry or soup. I smoked the fish with green tea leaves and, afterward, marinated it in a strong sesame sauce.

Stir-fried garlic chives are a nice accompaniment. These beautiful greens taste sweet and mild and can be bought very fresh this time of year.

Tea-smoked nga yant (Burmese snakehead fish)

Serves 4

• About 1kg of nga yant (snakehead fish)

• 2 cups green tea leaves (Shan)

• 1 cinnamon stick, 7–10cm

• 6-8 whole star anise

• 2 tsp ground white pepper

• Salt to taste

• A deep iron wok or heavy-bottom pot

• Aluminum foil sheets

• Wire rack

• Tight-fitting wok lid with curved roof, to create a space full of smoke

Myanmar Times Restaurants Reviewed

Looking for someplace out of your usual routine? Let The Myanmar Times help! Find restaurants, cafes, and bars our Pulse team has reviewed.

View fullscreen

Don't see your favourite spot here? Let us know! Send tips to