Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Moegyo Burmese Food Fair

Yesterday, I went to the 6th Annual Moegyo Burmese Food Fair at Aviation High School in Queens.  As you don't often find Burmese food in Manhattan, I was looking forward to trying a new type of cuisine.


If you'd like to learn more about Burmese cuisine, please read this.


The fair is an annual fundraiser for the Moegyo Humanitarian Foundation, which was founded in 2008 to provide relief to victims of a tropical cyclone.  From the Foundation's website,

     "Moegyo's mission is to provide humanitarian aid and to help people rebuild and improve their lives and      
     societies. Our current focus is to help orphans and disadvantaged children in poorest parts of Myanmar."

If you're interested in learning more, the Foundation's website is here.


To purchase food at the fair, you had to buy tickets ($1 per ticket) from a table set up near the entrance, and then exchange the tickets for a dish.  Dishes ran from 2 tickets (drinks), to 4 tickets (sides/salads/some mains), to 5 tickets (main dishes).

I bought 20 tickets, and here is some of the stuff that I sampled or otherwise saw.

Entrance to the Fair.  As you can see, there were a lot of people already there.

I believe this was Bhamo Meeshay - rice noodles with "a light meat sauce, brown tangy rice flour gel, soy sauce, chili oil, and garnished with crisp fried onions, and coriander [cilantro to us Westerners]".  Also had some pickled mustard greens.

I couldn't quite bring myself to try the goat intestines.  I'm claiming this was because of all the other tasty dishes I wanted to try, but in reality I wimped out.

This is Balachung, a side dish made from dried shrimp, crushed chilis, and crispy fried shallot and garlic.  Sounds like you just put some on rice and eat it, but it resembles XO sauce to me so I'd guess that you can use it for the same purposes.

This is dried tamarind leaves and dried shrimps.  The lady who sold it to me said that it has a sour and fermented flavor, and that it was a seasonal dish as tamarind leaves have to be harvested before the monsoons begin (which is soon).

They're making Falooda, a "rose flavored milk shake with tapioca pearls and other condiments".

They're making Yaykay Thote, which is a Burmese shaved ice dessert similar to the Taiwanese shaved ice that you can find in Chinatown and Flushing.

This is the salad action station/  There were two choices at this table:  Gyin Thohk, a ginger salad with crispy split peas, peanuts, cabbage, tomato, and other stuff; and Laphet Thohk, a preserved tea leaves salad with crispy split peas, sesame seed, peanuts, crispy fried garlic, cabbage, tomato, and a touch of peanut oil.  They also had an option to get your salad made with SPICY dried tea leaves, which I didn't realize until after I got my order.  Darn.

I tried the Laphet Thohk.  It tasted great, especially with some diced Thai chilis on the top and a squeeze of lime.  I think I'm going to try making this at home.

I got some Shar-Labat Yay, or "basil seed cream soda" to drink.  Despite the deep green color and the basil seeds, which looked like roe or caviar, the drink tasted like cream soda.

It was a great lunch for a great cause.  Can't wait until next year!

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