Burmese Cuisine by Celeb Chef Will Meyrick

TAKING A BITE OUT OF BURMA. Having recently returned from an eye-opening journey to Burma, Chef Will Meyrick, of Bali’s famous Sarong and Mama San restaurants brings us some of his favorite new recipes featuring the exotic flavors of Rangoon.

Burmese Duck Curry

On a mission to uncover the secrets and stories of regional street food across South East Asia, Chef Will Meyrick takes time out from whipping up some of Bali’s best pan-Asian cuisine in his two restaurants – the fine dining institution of Sarong and its irreverent and cheeky new younger sibling Mama San – to dive deep into unchartered culinary waters.

Having recently returned from an eye-opening journey to Burma, Chef Meyrick brings us some of the favorite new recipes.



Burmese Duck Curry
To cook duck
• 2 pcs duck legs
• 3 pcs coriander root
• 3 pcs bay leaf
• 2 tbsp black pepper
• 2 liter of water
• 1 cup yogurt

In the mixing bowl, rub black pepper and the yogurt on the duck, both on the skin side and the bone side. Marinate for 20 minutes.

Heat the medium pot with 2 liters of water, bay leaf and coriander root.

Bring to the boil then add the marinated duck legs. Bring back to a boil again then turn to simmer.

Cook for approximately 2 hours then remove from the pot.

To make curry sauce
• 2 cooked duck legs
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1.5 tea spoon salt
• 1 tea spoon black pepper
• 2 table spoon soy sauce
• 1.5 cup of plain yoghurt
• 1.5 cup of finely chopped onion
• ½ cup of vegetable oil
• 3 pc bay leaf
• 1 tea spoon ginger powder
• 1 tea spoon paprika powder
• 3 tea spoon of blended fried garlic
• 1 cup of chicken or duck stock
• ½ cup of chopped coriander

In the sauce pan, heat the vegetable oil and then fry off bay leafs and onion until soft.

Add turmeric powder, paprika powder, black pepper and blended fried garlic.

Fry until fragrant, then add yogurt and chicken stock.

Cook on low heat for 15 minutes then add duck legs and keep cooking for 5 minute, then season with salt to taste.

Correct seasoning then add chopped coriander and it’s ready to serve.




Chicken Wings With Tea Leaf Salad

• 10 pc chicken wing (only middle part, butterfly bone in)
• 5 pc bamboo skewer
• 3 knobs 2 inch long ginger
• 10 bottom part green shallot
• ½ cup light soy sauce
• 4 table spoon sweet soy sauce
• 1 table spoon white sugar

Soak the bamboo skewers in the water. Clean your ginger and slice ½ cm thick.

On the grill or a non-stick pan, grill sliced ginger and green shallots until brown and fragrant.

Place the light soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, grilled ginger, grilled shallot and sugar into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and rest on the side until it cools down to room temperature.

Skewer the chicken wings (2 pieces on each stick) then marinade with marinating sauce for at least 30 minutes.

Grill wings over low to medium heat while occasionally brushing them with the marinating sauce to get the outside carmelized.

For the tea leaf salad
• 1 cup of white cabbage (finely sliced)
• ½ cup of pickle tea leaf (chunky chopped)
• ½ tomato (seeded slice)
• 2 table spoon deep fried butter nut (crushed)
• 2 tea spoon chili oil
• 2 tea spoon garlic oil
• 2 tea spoon chana dahl powder
• 2 table spoon chopped coriander
• 1 tea spoon of soy sauce
• salt to taste
• Sesame seeds, sliced green shallots and coriander sprigs for garnish

In a mixing bowl, place chili oil, garlic oil, chana dahl powder, butter nut and a little salt. Mix well then add remaining ingredients, except for the chopped coriander.

Carefully mix through, add more seasoning to taste, then add chopped coriander and garnish to serve.



Soft Shell Crab Salad With Pennyworth Leaf

• 1 soft shell crab (bought frozen)
• ½ cup of sliced, julienned fresh tomato
• ¼ cup sliced shallot
• 1 small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
• ½ cup of pennyworth leaf, finely chopped
• 4 tablespoons crushed peanuts
• 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
• 1 pinch of crispy fried shallots (store bought or home-made)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons garlic oil
• 2 tablespoons chili oil

Flour dusting
• 2 tablespoons rice flour
• 2tablespoons tapioca flour
• Oil for frying

Defrost the soft shell crab and pat dry thoroughly.

To prepare the crab, take off the shell gently and clean the dead man’s finger and lungs. Cut the crab into four pieces and pat dry again.

Combine both flours together in a bowl. Dust the crab in the flour. Set aside briefly while you make the salad.

Combine the garlic and chilli oils together, adding the salt in also. Add in the tomatoes, and sprinkle in the peanuts and sesame seeds. Add the sliced shallots and toss everything gently together.

Heat the oil and then shallow fry the crab until golden and crispy.

Add the hot, crispy crab pieces together with the tomato salad.

Finish by folding through the coriander and penny worth leaf. Serve piled high on a plate.


*Pennyworth leaf is a lesser known ingredient, but one that is worth seeking out for its unique flavor and texture somewhere between an herb and watercress-type salad green.

Easy Sarong Twist
In Burma, you find pennyworth leaf sold on the shores of Inle Lake. Here in Indonesia, it’s quite easy to source if you’re looking for it. Ask your local fresh grocer.




Rangoon Beef Short Rib Curry

• Basic beef stock
• 500 grams of short rib beef bone in
• 2 litres of water / fresh chicken stock
• 40 grams fresh garlic, peeled,
• 75 grams fresh ginger, peeled
• 20 grams of chilli paste (see method below)
• 1 inch stick of cinnamon
• 12 cloves
• 10 grams tomato paste
• 1 small bunch of curry leaves
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 5 new potatoes
• 3 green chillis, sliced
• 1 small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
• 1 pinch of deep fried shallot (for garnish)

For chili paste:
Pre-soak dried red chillis for approximately thirty minutes. Pound in a mortar and pestle to blend into a rustic paste.


To prepare the beef, rinse the bones well under cold water then bring to boil in a large pot of water. Once the beef has boiled, skim the surface and drain the water.

Boil the new potatoes until just cooked through and set aside.

To make the ‘bumbu’, or spice paste, which will be the basis of this aromatic curry, roughly pound the fresh ginger and garlic separately into a paste.

Fry out the ginger-garlic paste, then add in the home-made chili paste and spices of cinnamon and cloves. Add in the curry leaves last.

Add the beef bones to a fresh pot of 2 liters of water or chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then add in the bumbu.

Lower the heat and slowly reduce the stock until the meat is tender and yields.

*If the stock is a little watery, scoop out the beef ribs while reducing further without the meat until it is slightly richer and more intensified.

Finish the curry with fresh coriander, green chili and boiled new potatoes.

Scatter with deep fried shallots to garnish and serve with jasmine rice or hot, crunchy roti canai.





Ingredients for the dough:
• 100 grams plain flour
• 1 pinch of salt
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• 20 grams ghee
• 20 cc water
Mix all together and let it prove for 20 minutes.
Ingredients for stuffing:
• 100 grams yellow dal
• 6 grams chopped garlic
• 6 grams chopped green chili
• ½ teaspoon mango powder
• ½ teaspoon chili powder
• ½ teaspoon chat masala
• ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
• ½ teaspoon hinq
• ½ teaspoon coriander powder
• ½ teaspoon cumin seed
• 5 grams chopped coriander
• 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste


Cook yellow dal in the boiling water for half an hour. Strain and cool down.

In a hot pan, add 1 teaspoon of cooking oil then cumin, ginger garlic paste, chop green chili. Sauté until fragrant.

Add dal and all spices. Season with a little bit of salt and hinq.

Finish with chopped coriander, leave it to cool down.


To make the kasoori:
Roll the dough into balls about 20 grams in weight. Flatten them and then put the stuffing in the middle.

Fold it closed, repeat until dough is finished.

Flatten the balls and fry in oil until golden brown.




Pork Rib Curry With Green Mango

• 400 grams pork ribs
• 4 tablespoons shallot (roughly pounded)
• 3 tablespoons garlic (roughly pounded)
• 10 large dried red chili (seeded, soaked then roughly pounded)
• ½ cup grated green mango
• 1.5 tea spoon shrimp paste
• 3 tea spoon turmeric powder
• 1 green mango (peeled quarter)
• 2 table spoon green peppercorn
• 1 green long chili (sliced)
• 3 table spoon chopped coriander
• salt and sugar to taste
• tamarind pulp
• fried shallot and coriander sprig (for garnish)
• 6 cups of chicken or pork stock

Wash and clean ribs. Take off the back skin then cut into individual ribs.

In a medium sauce pan, heat up the oil and fry the shallots, garlic and chili paste until fragrant, then add shrimp paste and turmeric powder. Continue frying for 1 minute then add green mango and ribs. Keep stirring and be careful not to let the bottom of the pan get burnt.

When the paste is evenly coating the pork ribs, add in stock and bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer with the lid on.

After 30 minutes, add the mango, then season with salt and sugar.

Keep cooking for 15 minutes and then add peppercorn and sliced green chili.

Correct the seasoning with salt, sugar and tamarind.

Before plating, add coriander and check taste again.

Place curry in a bowl then garnish with coriander sprig and shallots.





To read about the Street Food Chef’s travels in Burma, and for more Burmese-inspired recipes for feasting, including Crispy Fried Gourami and a Shan-style Pickled Mustard Green Salad, head to www.mamasanbali.com and click on the BLOG link.
You can also follow Chef Will Meyrick as he heads out across our very own Indonesian archipelago – by plane, boat, car and rickshaw – in search of the country’s culinary pulse. www.facebook.com/chefwillmeyrick www.twitter/MeyrickWill