ayah State is located in the southeast of Myanmar and is the smallest State in the country. Kayah State is also known as Karreni and it is home to 9 ethnic groups which have rich, diverse cultures and traditions. Among the 9 ethnic groups, most people know the Kayah ethnic group as Kayah State and Kayan as ‘Long- Necked’ womenfolk who have the traditional bands around their necks. 

Kayan Ladies
Kayan Ladies 

As Kayah has a diverse culture and rich traditions, there are some traditional foods and drinks that one must try if you are a first time visitor. This includes Kayah Traditional Sausages and Wine. Kayah Sausages is famous for its taste of the secret ingredient. What is included in the secret ingredient and how do they make it? Let's find out!! 

How to make them? 

Before the sausage making process, it is important to know about Kayah pepper first.  Kayah pepper is the essential and “secret” ingredient of the sausage, and you can only find and get it in Kayah. Local people in Kayah like to use it when cooking traditional foods especially when they cook meat. It makes foods more tasteful and perfect.

Kayah Pepper

The Kayah kitchen includes some regional specialties, of which Kayah Sausage is the most famous and a number of local delicacydelicacies. Kayah Sausages are different from other ordinary sausages. The Kayah sausage is made with pork intestine, garlic, ginger, kayah pepper, chili, turmeric and salt.

First, they mixed all the ingredients, then stuffed the sausages. After they have finished stuffing, they are put in a  pot to steam. It will take 30-45 minutes to be fully cooked.

Other cooking methods that make the sausages be more tasteful and aromatic is to roast the sausages after steaming. You need to be careful when you roast sausages because they can  scorch easily.

After all those steps, the sausages are ready to be eaten with the Kayah spice, the pepper that gives the distinctive flavor. 

How do local people eat them?

For the local people, sausages are an exclusive dish which to combine  is trying with rice and they can’t afford to eat meat regularly. However, when they celebrate traditional festivals, sausages are an essential dish because it is one of the best foods in their regions. 

You should eat the sausages with traditional wine (Kaung Yay). It is really tasty and you will never forget the experience. Taste the authentic traditional food when you are in Kayah.  Locals will mention that you shouldn't come back from Kayah state without trying famous Kayah Sausage.

What is Khaung Yay (Traditional Wine)? Why is it special for Kayah People?

Kaung Yee (Traditional Wine ) is one of the special drinks in Kayah State. It is  mainly made from millet wine by local people. It takes 2 weeks to get the wine ready to drink. It is very famous and you can see the wine jars in every local household in Kayah.

There are three different kinds of Kaung Yay and you can call them Kaung Phu (hot and soft), Kaung Kyat (strongest), and Soat Kaung (Strong or soft). Kaung Phu is normally drunk by local people as their daily drink. It is hotter and softer than Kaung Kyat.

Kaung Kyat is very strong and only people who like strong drinks are able to drink it. For those who don’t like strong drinks it is available for them to try.

For Soat Kaung, you can put it in a clay pot with hot water and after 5 mins, it is ready to drink with a bamboo pine. Every local household in Kayah drinks Soat Kaung.   is used to drink in every local household Andand not only adults , but also children like to drink it because when they drink it they feel stronger.

Try with Traditional Wine (Kaung Yee)

Where can you get them? Can you make them at home?

Kayah sausages are simple, fresh and healthy. When you visit Kayah, you can try it at local restaurants and markets. Additionally, you can make it at home. You can easily order them through online delivery not only in Kayah but also in the other cities and regions in Myanmar.

I recommend that you try the Kayah sausages and Traditional Wine (Kaung Yay) of Keinayar Nandaw which is one of the best restaurants in Kayah and produces its own sausages and wine. The family has started its business over 20 years based in Loikaw city. It is famous in town with its good services and attractions. Because of the conflict, it has now moved to Yangon and it is still running a small business. It is also available to order from online. 

Demoso is about half an hour drive away from Loikaw. Demoso Market is a must-visit place because the people from surrounding areas come to the market to sell their produce. You will see almost all tribal people Kayah, Kayaw, Kayan, etc at the market without needing to go out to the villages and also you can explore the local food at the food stall.

Whether you love nature, culture, food, or a bit of adventure, we have the perfect destinations and activities for you. If you have plans to visit Kayah, I would like to encourage you to try all of the foods which are mentioned above.

July 28, 2022