awei is a capital city of Tanintharyi region, located in Southern Myanmar. Dawei is known as a beach paradise, and it has many tourist destinations of beaches, waterfalls, mountains, islands, historical pagodas and cultural heritages. Most of the residents are Dawei people who speak Dawei dialect. The living style, festivals have their own styles and also has many traditional and local food. Most of the taste of the traditional foods have a sour taste but snacks are really nutty and sweet. 

Dawei is the best place to discover delicious local foods from Tanintharyi. It is located along the Coastal Tanintharyi and surrounded by the blue Andaman Sea. There are many fresh seafoods with a local eating style to explore. In this article, I will describe some traditional foods and snacks which are not to miss to try in Dawei because these foods are really loved by locals and popular among travellers and tourists. 

As a picnic at the beach (Photo Credit : Peter Richard)
As a picnic at the beach (Photo Credit : Peter Richard)

Mote Latt Thouk 

Mote Latt Thouk is a famous Dawei traditional food. Mote Latt Thouk is not a salad, and it is Mote Phat (rice noodles) together with fish soup. You can eat Mote Latt Thouk with Mote Phat and fish soup with chopped onions. It can also be added with Sar Ka Lay Khwey, Chili powder, Bean sprouts, sliced onions and Cilantro in Mote Latt Thouk. People in Dawei eat it as a dessert and sometimes as a breakfast. Some people eat Mote Latt Thouk with rice, fish eggs and fermented clams and some people of the townships eat it with pork. The taste of Mote Latt Thouk is sour because the fish soup includes Pa Ohn Yi. It can be found in every place in Dawei. Thus, Mote Latt Thouk is the first food to try in Dawei to experience the original Dawei traditional taste. 

Dawei Mote Latt Thouk & Fish Soup (Photo Credit: August San)

Dawei Mohinga 

Mohinga is Burmese Traditional Breakfast but has different tastes and styles according to regions and states. Dawei Mohinga is another traditional Dawei famous food. The Dawei Mohinga soup is thicker and has a lot of oil which is unique among other Mohinga. Dawei Mohinga's the main ingredient is the banana plant. It is cooked with a banana plant peel and slicing the center of the banana plant. The cooking of Dawei Mohinga which includes lemongrass, onions, garlic, ginger, and red chili powder is combined with a lot of oil. To become the soup of Dawei Mohinga, you can add Nga Pote Chaut (dried fish sauce) and fresh fish. Some people use Tanyin leaves (lan gaw wat is Dawei name) to get a good smell and delicious taste. Some people eat Dawei Mohinga with Si Htamin (sticky steamed rice), and other people also eat it with fried onion, fried garlic and boiled beans.

Dawei Mohinga (Photo Credit: Thin Wot Yi)

Thanat Mote Di (Kanat Mu Ban)

Thanap Mont Di (Kanap Muban in Dawei Dialect) is one of traditional foods of Tanintharyi region. Thanap Thoke is a Fresh Vegetable Salad which includes long bean, eggplant, cauliflower, bean sprout, and onion. The cooking process of Thanat Mote Di is putting chopped vegetables into boiling water and mixing with a pinch of turmeric eat chili powder and Pa Ohn Yi. A few minutes later, Ngapi mixed with water is added and boiled over with a lit fire. Finally, garlic, ginger and chili are added and mixed with all the fried vegetables. Local people eat it with Mote Phat (rice noodle). By eating Thanat Mote Di has sweet, sour and spicy tastes from it at the same time. Thanat Mote Di can be found in every salad shop and street food shop in Dawei. So, don’t forget to try it in Dawei.

Thanat Mote Di (Kanat Mu Ban) (Photo Credit : Lwan Thandar)

Mote Phat and Fermented Clam Salad 

As being a coastline Region, Dawei has an abundance of seafood and that is kept through long lasting food processing ways by drying, fermenting and salting. Fermented clam salad with Mote Phat is a popular traditional food of Dawei. Fermented clams can be eaten at Dawei mixed with onion, spicy, a little salt and lime. Now, you can prepare fermented clams with Mote Phat, and the taste is sour, salty and a little spicy. Locals eat it in the evening and on their way going home from the office. If you want to eat something in the evening, you should try fermented clams with Mote Phat.

Mote Phat and Fermented Clam Salad (Photo Credit: August San)

Mote Phat with Pork’s Head Salad

The residents of Dawei enjoy the whole body of pork. Pork’s salad is made by some fresh vegetables of cucumber, onion, sugar liquid, fish sau tamarind liquid or a little lime and finally added to the spice. Mote phat with Pork’s head salad is a main dish also popular among local people. They savout it originally or with white rice noodles and other people enjoy it with noodles instead of Mote Phat (rice noodles). Its taste is more sweet and a little spicy and you can eat it with fish soup from the restaurant Mote Latt Thouk. You can get a good matching taste of two local foods of Dawei.

Mote Phat with Pork’s Head Salad (Photo Credit: Chit Thiri Zaw)
Mote Phat with Pork’s Head Salad (Photo Credit: Chit Thiri Zaw)
Ingredients of Pork’s Head Salad (Photo Credit: Chit Thiri Zaw)
Ingredients of Pork’s Head Salad (Photo Credit: Chit Thiri Zaw)

Mont Khwel Theint

Mote Khwel Theint is Dawei's traditional dessert dish. It is divided into two layers of big rice dough balls and is compressed with a combination of sugar, little salt and sesame seeds. And then, local people add scraped coconut on the rice dough ball. The dish is taste is like a dessert because the taste is sweeten and nutty. Mont Khwel Theint must be included in this Dawei traditional foods list. So, if you travel to Dawei, don't forget to try it.

Mont Khwel Theint (Photo Credit: Ma Aye Mu)
Mont Khwel Theint (Photo Credit: Ma Aye Mu)

Mont Khwet (Mont Lin Ma Yar)

Mont Khwet is a traditional Dawei food, and it can be eaten only in the rainy season. It is a Dawei seasonal food called Mont Khwet in Dawei and known as Mont Lin Ma Yar (couple rice snacks) in other Burmese cuisine. Mont Khwet is made into a cup shape with rice mince fluid and coconut milk. Local people make it in Dawei traditional clay pots. Firstly, people add rice mince fluid and then add coconut milk after covering it with small lids. A few minutes later, it is prised from the pot. Now, it is ready to eat Dawei Mont Khwet.

Mont Khwet (Mont Lin Ma Yar) (Photo Credit: Kaung Ma Lay)

Mu Chut Li

Mu Chut Li is a kind of dessert or snack of Dawei, and it looks like a soft and twisted roll. It tastes sweet and delicious. Mu Chut Li is made with rice, sugar, and black sesame seeds and coconut. The rice used is coarse rice and people grind the rice with water. And then, they add sugar and black beans, sesame and poppy seeds together. People close tightly with a cloth on a pot, and they add the water to the pot and boil it. Firstly, people take a spoon of mixed cream spread on the surface of the pot into a thin layer. After a few minutes, people roll it with a bamboo stick. Now, it is like a twisted shape and ready to eat with grated coconut. To get the green color of Mu Chut Li, you can add the juice of pandan leaves and it will have a fragrant smell. If you travel to Dawei, don't forget to try it.

Mu Chut Li (Photo Credit: Thet Paing Soe)
Mu Chut Li (Photo Credit: Thet Paing Soe)

Dawei is full of traditional culture, histories, natural scenery, tourist attractions and traditional foods, dessert tea or snack. There are many Dawei traditional foods and snacks, and they are really unique and delicious dishes which should not be missed. If you visit Dawei, make sure to try those Dawei foods dishes and snacks.

March 17, 2023