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Burma Superstar: Addictive Recipes from the Crossroads of Southeast Asia Hardcover – March 28, 2017
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From the Publisher
Coconut Chicken Curry
Serves 4; 6 As Part Of A Larger Meal
If you make only one curry from this book, let it be this one. Simple, satisfying, and made with ingredients that are easy to find, Coconut Chicken Curry is a workhorse in the Burma Superstar kitchen. At the restaurant, it’s the base for noodle dish Nan Gyi Thoke (page 98) and the dip for Platha (page 181), a buttery flatbread. Alone, it’s a satisfying meal with rice. For best results, cook the curry the day before serving to give the flavors time to soak into the chicken. This recipe makes about 7 cups, so you can freeze any leftovers to make Nan Gyi Thoke or serve with platha down the road.
Trim the chicken thighs of excess fat and cut into 1⁄2-to 1-inch pieces. Transfer to a bowl and use your hands to mix with the paprika, turmeric, and salt. Let the chicken marinate at room tem¬temperature while you prepare the other ingredients, or refrigerate it overnight.
In a 6-quart pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, decrease the heat to medium-low and cook gently, stirring often to prevent scorching, for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until most of the water from the onions has been cooked out and a glossy layer of oil has risen to the surface, about 5 minutes more.
Add the chicken and stir to release the spices into the onions. Pour in the coconut milk, increase the heat, and bring to a near boil. Let the coconut milk simmer briskly for about 4 minutes to thicken a bit. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the fish sauce. Stir in the water and bring the pot back to a near boil. The broth will thin out as the chicken starts to release its juices.
Lower to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender, 50 to 55 minutes. Droplets of paprika-red oil will rise to the surface. Stir in the curry powder and cayenne, simmer briefly, and remove from the heat. If time permits, let the curry sit for at least 20 minutes before serving. This allows the chicken to soak in more flavor as the curry cools. Bring to a simmer before serving and taste, adding more salt or fish sauce if desired. Serve with bowls of cilantro and lime wedges at the table.
- 2 1⁄2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄3 cup canola oil
- 3 cups finely diced yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 (13 1⁄2-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 cup cilantro sprigs, for garnish
- 1 lime or lemon, cut into wedges, for garnish
“Finally! In this beautiful book, Desmond Tan and Kate Leahy bring one of my favorite Bay Area restaurants, Burma Superstar, to the world. From the Tea Leaf Salad to Chicken Coconut Curry, the book demystifies the ingredients and cooking techniques of Myanmar, opening up the restaurant’s incredible flavors for everyone to enjoy. This is a book to read from cover to cover, and to cook from forever.”
—Amanda Haas, author of The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: The Delicious Way to Reduce Inflammation and Stay Healthy
"Informative recipes and concise historical background set an educational yet approachable tone, while the occasional misty mountain vistas or bustling Burmese city street scenes (captured by John Lee) provide a reason to slow down and consider Burmese culture as a whole. Already, I'm eyeing the classic mohinga, a noodle soup thickened with toasted ground rice and mashed catfish, seasoned with ginger and lemongrass."
—Alex Testere, Saveur
"The rare restaurant edition you’ll actually want to cook from, starting with the tea-leaf salad."
—"This Season's Best Cookbooks", Bon Appetit
“The eponymous San Francisco restaurant is making quality Burmese food even more accessible than before with this insightful, thorough cookbook. Take mohinga, for example, the breakfast noodle soup you've probably never heard of that's considered Burma's national dish. And in between coconut chicken curry and tea leaf salad, you can read all about Myanmar's struggle for democracy, as well as the people and ingredients that make up this rich culture.”
—"Best New Cookbooks," Tasting Table
"Is Burmese the new Thai food? Plenty of San Franciscans (disciples of the city’s beloved Burma Superstar restaurant) would say yes. The hot spot’s first cookbook illuminates the spicy, savory food of Myanmar, from chili lamb to pork and pumpkin stew to the popular tea leaf salad."
—Rebecca Shapiro, PureWow
"Burmese food is highly underrated—especially where fighting inflammation is concerned, thanks to the generous use of spices like turmeric and cardamom. In his book, Tan reveals that the meals include ingredients that are beautifully colored and textured, meaning that even salad can be exciting. "
—Felicia Czochanski, Well + Good
"Despite what some may consider unfamiliar ingredients and cooking techniques, “Burma Superstar” (the book) is incredibly accessible and, more importantly, fun. Fans of the restaurant will be happy to see a some of its most popular dishes, but the cookbook is more than just a rehashing of the menu. [...] There are short snippets on the history, political and otherwise, of the country, and photographs, all by San Francisco’s John Lee, bring the food into context with the country."
—Kate Williams, Berkeleyside
About the Author
DESMOND TAN was born in Burma and came to San Francisco when he
was 11 years old. He has grown Burma Superstar into four thriving, unique
locations (with a fifth on the way). In 2014, he launched Mya Foods, the first Bay
Area company to import Burmese ingredients--most notably laphet, Burma's
famous fermented tea leaves.
KATE LEAHY co-authored A16 Food + Wine, the IACP Cookbook of the Year and recipient of the IACP Julia Child First Book Award; SPQR; The Preservation Kitchen, which Eater.com ranked as one of the most notable books of the year; and Cookie Love, an NPR Best Book of 2015.
Top customer reviews
In addition to the recipes, I've been reading it cover to cover learning about the origins of the recipes, the author and some history of Myanmar.
The first recipe we tried was curry chicken and then served it over noodles with fried onions and a soft boiled egg. It was amazing. Simple but unique recipes await you. Can't wait to cook another spectacular meal from this book.
I enjoyed that this book made Burmese cooking feel really accessible, even to someone now living where the nearest Asian market is a 2.5 hour drive. While some of the recipes require specialty ingredients, many of them are down-to-earth enough that I can even find the ingredients in rural Maine. The Rainbow Salad was one of our go-tos off the menu when we lived near the restaurant, so it was the first recipe I tried from this book. It didn't disappoint, although be forewarned -- it's fiddly because it has so many ingredients and they all need chopping/frying/boiling. I did a bit of substituting here, like using pre-fried shallots from our last trip to the Asian market rather than frying onions myself, and not using all the different kinds of noodles. It was still delicious, though, and I appreciated that the authors gave me "permission" to tweak as needed. I was also excited to see that the book included recipes for some of the drinks the restaurant serves, because they are delicious! On the rare occasion we did eat in the restaurant instead of doing take-away, I always enjoyed the Burma Cooler, and now I can have it at home!
Just a couple of quibbles: First, I really, really hate cookbooks where the list of ingredients goes onto the second page. I don't mind if the recipe instructions cross pages, but when the ingredients do, it's really easy to miss the ones on the second page and only realize when it's far too late to do anything about it. Oh, and I was really sad that there was no recipe for my favorite noodle dish from the restaurant, Bun Tay Kauser. :-)
Disclaimer: I received an e-book advance of this cookbook from the publisher. But I loved it so much I put it on my birthday wishlist. My partner bought it and my hardcopy arrived yesterday. YAY!