Some restaurants have a signature dish; one exceptional entree that’s a must-order every time. Much to the dismay of the indecisive diner, the entire menu at Burma Superstar (and sibling eateries Burma Love and Burma Club) reads like an endless stream of top hits. You can’t leave without trying the inimitable tea leaf salad, tossed table side to provide both dinner and a show, but don’t forget about the spicy samusa soup and crispy yet creamy fried yellow bean tofu, too. Then there’s also the tofu kebat, a tangy tomato stir-fry, and you simply must taste the long simmered, smoldering heat of the eggplant curry. Shame if you didn’t leave room for dessert, or at least a bite of coconut rice, which straddles the line between sweet and savory for compatible crossovers in every course.
My deepest condolences to anyone hoping to try something different on a solo visit. Considering the inevitable line at any location, any hour of the day, the stakes are high to make every meal count. With limited time and stomach capacity, it’s overwhelming to consider the full range of options without defaulting back to those fool-proof favorites.
At least the Burma Superstar cookbook makes it possible to get your fill of all the best-sellers, sleeper hits, and undiscovered treasures at home. Sparing no secrets, this glossy tome to Burmese cookery deserves every bit as much praise as the eateries, if not more, for making the recipes accessible to all eaters. Much of the menu is already vegan or veganizable, and the options expand infinitely when starting from scratch with readily available meat and seafood alternatives.
Still, some of the best dishes are those that have been plant-based from the start. I must return to those famous Superstar Noodles, which combine thick and chewy wheat noodles with aromatic five spice tofu and a battery of crunchy seeds and split peas, all tangled together in a tart, tangy, sweet, and spicy tamarind lacquer.
I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book in a random stroke of luck a month ago, and now I want to spread the love. If you’d like the full play list of this Bay Area institution’s cult hits, I’m thrilled to share a copy with another hungry cook and loving home. That’s right, I’m giving away this gorgeous cookbook, with the blessing of the Burma Superstar masterminds themselves. All you have to do is leave me a comment about your favorite Burmese food, or what you’d like to try most if you’ve never had it before, and log your entry in the form below. This giveaway not sponsored nor associated with Burma Superstar. Residents of the continental US only, for shipping purposes.
If you just want a taste to see what you’re in for, continue on to get the lightly adapted recipe for this famous noodle recipe, poised to become the headlining star of any meal.
- 5 Ounces Baby Potatoes, Peeled and Quartered
- 2 Tablespoons Neutral Oil
- 1/2 Cup Sliced Yellow Onion
- 12 Ounces Dried Chinese Wheat Noodles or 1 Pound Fresh Wonton Noodles
- 5 Ounces Hodo Five-Spice Tofu Nuggets or Fried Tofu, Roughly Chopped
- 1/2 Cup Hot Water
- 1 Ounce Tamarind Puree
- 2 Tablespoons Sriracha
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 English Cucumber, Thinly Sliced
- 1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Red Onion
- 2 Cups Shredded Green Cabbage
- 1 Cup Fresh Cilantro, Roughly Chopped
- 3 Tablespoons Fried Garlic Chips
- 3 Tablespoons Fried Split Peas and/or Beans
- 2 Tablespoons Toasted Chickpea Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
- 1/8 - 1/4 Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Place the potatoes in a small pot, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat on the stove. Decrease to medium-low and cook until fork tender; 15 - 20 minutes. Thoroughly drain and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan over high heat. Once shimmering, add the onions and stir fry until evenly browned and crispy; 8 - 10 minutes. Immediately transfer to a plate so they don't burn.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles, stirring often with chopsticks, until nearly soft all the way through but still al dente. Refer to the instructions on the package for aproximate timing. Strain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the cooked onions and tofu.
- For the sauce, in a separate dish, whisk together the hot water, tamarind pulp, sriracha, minced garlic, ginger, salt, and sugar. Once smooth, pour it into the bowl of noodles and toss to coat. Add in the cucumber, red onions, cabbage, cilantro, chickpea flour, garlic chips, crunchy beans, lime juice, red pepper flakes. Mix well and adjust seasonings to taste, if needed.
- Serve at room temperature or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, an serve chilled.
Lightly Adapted from Burma Superstar: Addictive Recipes from the Crossroads of Southeast Asia by Desmond Tan and Kate Leahy
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 483Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 793mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 18gSugar: 13gProtein: 20g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.