My daily Burmese cuisine- Shan Fish Rice ( Ngar Hta Min War )

Ngar Hta Min

Ngar Hta Min

It is raining in Singapore today. I am craving for authentic Shan food. I start to wonder what I have in the fridge. Fish! Yes, I am visualizing yellowish sumptuous delightful Shan fish rice, in Burmese, Ngar Hta Min. This heavenly dish is originated from the one major ethnic group from Burma. As appealing as it is, it signifies the profound culture of Shan tribe. To get started, all you need are these ingredients stated below:      

 Serves 4
  • 1/3 kg of fish (sea fish or river fish)    
  • 3 big tomatoes 
  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • 5 small onions (big onions are fine)
  • 7 or 8 garlic’s
  • 3 small cups of rice
  • 4-5 stems of spring onions 
  • 1 and a half small tsp of salt
  • 3 tsp of fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of chilli powder 
  • 1/2 tsp of tamarind powder
  • 5 or 6 big dried chillies
  • 5 tsp of canola oil
Boil the potato till very soft, drain it and let it cool for a while. Chop the onions and garlic to small pieces. Chop two tomatos coarsely and put it aside Wash the rice once and put in half cup of water more than usual amount. (For example, if you usually put 4 and 1/2 cups of water for 3 cups of rice, put it 5 cups. Scramble the boiled potatoes put into the rice. Chop and scramble one tomato and put into the rice. Mix it well. Cook the rice.
boiled potatoes and tomatoes

boiled potatoes and tomatoes

Boiled potatoes and tomatoes

Boiled potatoes and tomatoes






Defrost the fish and Remove the skin. Slice the fish to small pieces. Fry the onions and garlic’s in a sauce pan and cooks it on moderate heat. When the paste turns brownish, add in turmeric powder and chilling powder. Put in the chopped tomatoes into the sauce pan. Cook it around 5 – 7 mins over medium heat.  When the dish is getting soft, put in sliced pieces of fish. Add the fish sauce and salt, cover and simmer it for about 10 – 15 mins.
Raw fish and ingrediants

Raw fish and ingrediants

Raw fish and chopped tomatoes

Raw fish and chopped tomatoes







Smash the 4 garlic’s with a knife and chop it. Deep fry it for less than 1 min over high heat and add in a bit of turmeric powder for the colour effect. Turn off the heat and transform immediately to a bowl when it start to turn brown. (It is essential to make it fast or the chopped garlic burn easily). Deep fry the dried chilli over high heat for less than a min.
Before the rice is thoroughly cooked, open the lid and you will see all the potatoes and tomatoes are on top of the rice. Mix the rice with a large spoon. Close the lid and let the rice totally cook. When the rice is ready, put the rice into a Chinese soup bowl, even the surface of the rice on the bowl and quickly turn the bowl up side down and transferred the rice to a plate.


compressed rice (hta min war)

compressed rice (hta min war)

Garnish the rice with fish, chopped spring onions, fried garlic’s and oil and fried dried chilli. I have my leftover fish skins so I deep fry it and it turns into lovely crispy fried fish skin. You can also add in Ju Myit to the rice. I had a very satisfying feedback about the dish today.. Everyone loved it ~
Fried fish skin

Fried fish skin

  Tips: For vegetarian, you can use pae pout ( dry spicy bean ) instead of fish. Substitute fish sauce to soy bean. It is a wonderful traditional vegetarian Shan meal too

Side dishes

Side dishes

Visit to my blog often for more authetic Burmese food recipes and exotic Asian cuisines.

1 Comment »

  1. Pwint Said:

    i have to try it on my own..coz looks yummy!!

{ RSS feed for comments on this post} · { TrackBack URI }

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: