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Mohinga streethawker in Mandalay
Mohinga ( ; ) is rice vermicelli in fish soup and considered by many to be the national dish of Myanmarmarker, formerly Burma. It is readily available in most parts of the country. In major cities, street hawkers and roadside stalls sell dozens of dishes of mohinga to the locals and passers-by. Although mohinga is available throughout the day, it is usually eaten as breakfast.

Preparation

There are different varieties of mohinga in various regions of Burma such as Rakhine mohinga with more fish paste and less soup. Its ingredients depend on their availability. However, the standard dish comes from southern Burma, where fresh fish is more readily available. The main ingredients of mohinga are chickpea flour and/or crushed toasted rice, garlic, onions, lemongrass, banana tree stem, ginger, fish paste, fish sauce and catfish in a rich broth cooked and kept on the boil in a cauldron. It is served with rice vermicelli, dressed and garnished with fish sauce, a squeeze of lime, crispfried onions, coriander, spring onions, crushed dried chilli and, as optional extras, crispy fried fritters such as split chickpeas (pè gyan gyaw), urad dal (baya gyaw) or gourd (bu gyaw) as well as boiled egg and fried fish cake (nga hpè gyaw).

Availability

It is perhaps the most popular breakfast dish of all, now available as an "all-day breakfast" in many towns and cities. Mohinga is also served with all the trimmings at formal functions and nowadays it is also sold in dry packets as a ready-made powder that is used for making the broth. Street hawkers are the original purveyors of this popular dish doing the rounds through neighbourhoods where they have regular customers. They carry the soup cauldron on a stove on one side of a shoulder pole and rice vermicelli and other ingredients along with bowls and spoons on the other. It used to be available only early in the morning and at street pwès or open air stage performances and zat pwès or itinerant theatres at night. Trishaw peddlers began to appear in the 1960s and some of them set up pavement stalls making mohinga available all day. Finally cafes and restaurants also added mohinga to their menus.

Image:Mandalay trishaw peddler.jpg|A mohinga trishaw peddler in Mandalaymarker will stop for customers.Image:Mandalay mohinga stall.jpg| Mohinga is available all day from pavement stalls such as this in Mandalay.Image:Mohinga.jpg|Ready-made packages containing powder to cook mohinga soup is also available.

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