Recipe | Burmese Noodles with Prawns

Sometimes, the discounted unknown cook books with the big red SALE sticker can be a surprising find in Indigo. This is the case with “The Big Book of Noodles” by Vatcharin Bhumichitr.

On this chilly Sunday evening, I was feeling adventurous and made the bold move of trying out a new recipe by randomly opening a page in the cook book. Fate led me to the pazun him, a traditional Burmese noodle dish with prawns.

I’ve never been to a Burmese restaurant or can even tell you their signature dishes despite being in the country … well, it was only for 10 minutes.

During my trip in Thailand, I crossed the border to Burma but quickly left when I learned about the intense uprising with tens of thousand of Buddhist monks protesting to call for an end to military rule.

I’m adventurous with my taste buds but not being in a political cross fire.

I was curious about trying out this dish which is similar to Singapore noodles except the Burmese version uses tumeric – a golden yellow coloured spice from the ginger family.

The flavour is more earthy and mellow … definitely not as strong or distinctive as curry.

But turmeric stains very easily so be careful not to get it on your counter tops and clothes. Also, avoid the Midas Touch by washing your dishes and utensils immediately after you’re done prepping and eating.

Thanks to its main ingredient of curcumin, turmeric is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and widely used for healing remedies and cosmetics enhancement.

Enough with the Dr. Oz-sounding endorsement, now onto the recipe!

Burmese Noodles 2


Adapted from “The Big Book of Noodles” by Vatcharin Bhumichitr

Servings: 4


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb peeled shrimp
  • 1 cup fish filet
  • 300 g rice vermicelli (soaked in warm water for 5 minutes, drained and quickly rinsed with cold water to avoid sticking together)
  • 1.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • Cilantro, for garnish


1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Wait a couple of minutes to heat up then add the onion.

2. Cook the onion until it slightly browns … approximately 2 minutes.

3. Add the shrimp and fish. Stir-fry until almost cooked.

4. Add the vermicelli noodles, turmeric, sugar, fish sauce and tomatoes. Stir quickly with a chopstick or tongs for five minutes.

5. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

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