Introduction to Myeik

Myeik is located in southern Myanmar and has many economic activities such as production of pearls, edible birds nests, fishing, hotels and travel businesses in Tanintharyi region. Myeik, an island paradise and it also offers many delicious foods. Myeik is known for its cultural diversity and living styles, as well as its foods, are multi-colored. Myeik (sometimes referred to as Byeik) dishes are influenced by neighbouring countries. The food of Myeik is mostly similar to Indian, Chinese and Thai food. But the tastes and smell are different and have their own significance. In the coastal town of Myeik, the food contains mostly Pa Ohn Yi and Ngapi and the taste is usually spicy but the town also has some sweet food specialities. 

Exploring Foods Around Myeik

Myeik is surrounded by the Andaman sea and 800 natural islands. Fresh seafood and high nutrition products of edible birds nests are welcoming you. The unique local dried foods make an excellent present of Myeik to bring back to your native town: edible birds nests, dried fish, dried shrimp, dried clams, Ngapi and fruit jam. In this article, I will describe which  foods to try during your visit to Myeik. There are three types of foods, three different drinks and several seafood dishes which are really loved by residents and also popular among tourists.

Kat Kyi Kaik

Myeik's most popular traditional food is Kat Kyi Kaik. It is a dish made of flat rice noodles fried with fresh seafood. If you have allergies to seafood, you can try it with chicken or pork. The taste can be two kinds: sweet or sour and spicy. The ingredients of Kat Kyi Kaik consist of flat rice noodles, bean sprouts, boiled green peas, prawns, squids, spring onions, peppers, soy sauce and Pa Oh Yi. 

The name of Kat Kyi Kaik means scissor-bitten in Burmese, because the cook cuts up the noodles with scissors for easier cooking. The local people sell it packed with banana leaf or paper and also eat it as a lunch. In Myeik, you can find the dish in many places, but mostly in Sein Nge market, the restaurants in the Myeik shopping centre, Night market and at strand road. If you like fried noodles, Kat Kyi Kaik is a great food for you in Myeik.

Kat Kyi Kaik packed with banana leaf (Photo Credit: Phyu Phyu)
Spicy Kat Kyi Kaik (Photo Credit: Phyu Phyu)

Thar Kway Yeik 

Thar Kway Yeik (Myeik language)is a popular food in Myeik. It is generally known as black sticky rice in coconut milk. The recipe includes black rice, white rice, coconut milk, sugar and salt. It is sticky and has a really sweet taste. Local people use it for catering to guests in many ceremonies and festivals. They also eat it after eating lunch as a dessert. While you are visiting Myeik and you are looking for coconut milk's snack, you should try Thar Kway Yeik. The recommended shop is Yatharsone shop, where you can get Burmese snacks and the price is cheap. It is located near the Basic Education High School Myeik.

Thar Kway Yeik 

Apon ( အာပုံ)

Appam, called apon in Myanmar, is a common Burmese dessert street food. It is a delicacy of the Southern part of Dawei and Myeik. Apon is a type of pancake, originating from South India, which includes rice, sugar and coconut milk. It has two tastes: nutty which is made with coconut milk and sweet that is done with  coconut. Some people would like to eat Apon with eggs. Most of the street vendors of Apon can be found during the tourism bloom season in the south coastal region of Tanintharyi. It can be eaten as breakfast or dinner by locals. 

You can also get Apon in other towns, but the feeling will not be the same as eating Apon in Mergui Archipelago because Myeik Apon includes more rice than other towns. You should consume it when you receive it from the cook immediately, then you can get the nutty and soft touch on your tongue. The recommended Apon shop is Sandar Wut that is 20 minutes away from downtown and it has been in small business for 20 years. The Apon of this shop is tasty and cheap. Then, you can enjoy different local styles of Myeik Mohinga (rice noodle with fish soup), Couple snacks and A Sone Thoke (rainbow salad) in many shops at the strand road in the town.

Making Apon (Photo Credit: Sam The Man)

Bamboo Jelly

Bamboo jelly is locally known as Wa Pa Lout. Bamboo jelly is organic, and it can be eaten in the rainy season. When the rain is coming, local people chop on the 1 to 3 months old bamboo to access the rain. Depending on the weather, it becomes a gel that looks like jelly due to a combination of rain water and bamboo fibres within two weeks. It is naturally made of bamboo jelly and good for liver and kidney. People drink bamboo jelly mixed with condensed milk, sugar and lime to get a sweet taste. You should try it to acquire a cool sensation during your Myeik visit. If you take it as a present, it can last 15 days in the refrigerator.

Wa Pe Lout in Bamboo (Photo Credit : Saung Oo)
Bamboo Jelly Juice with Milk (Photo Credit : Saung Oo)

Nipa Palm Juice

Nipa palm and fruit can be eaten in various ways, which are jam, salad, juice, wine and it is even used as vinegar (Pa Ohn Yi). To get Nipa juice, people shake a branch of Nipa palm with their hands before cutting it. In a day, they shape it for 5 minutes and then this process takes a week. Locals must shape the branch because they don't shape the branch and they cannot get the liquid of Nipa Palm. Next, people cut the top of the branches and clean it. Then, people cover the buds with a plastic bottom to obtain natural Nipa juice. Now, you can drink sweet Nipa Palm juice. Locals drink it in the morning of cold and dry seasons by eating sticky rice and drinking Nipa Palm juice. So, you should not miss trying Nipa palm juice as a morning drink.

Local Foods with Nipa Juice (Photo Credit: Swal Mal)

Lime Aye

Lime Aye is one of the most famous drinks in Myeik. It is a variation of regular coffee made with black coffee. Lime Aye contains coffee, sugar and lime. Firstly, locals add black coffee and mix with sugar then add lime in the cup. Finally, they put white foams that look like ice creams at the top of the cup. The bitterness of the coffee, the sweetness of sugar and the sourness of the lime will be fresh to you. You may enjoy the genuine Lime Aye in Myeik.

Photo of Lime Aye (Photo Credit : Daw Tha Ra Won)

Seafood Dishes

Myeik Archipelago is known for its seafood cuisine. It is alway fresh and available for purchase at a reasonable price. It may be difficult for you to choose from a variety of seafood dishes. What should I order here? Thus, I will mention some dishes which are local cuisine and some dishes can be influenced by other countries' cooking styles. 

i. Grilled Stingray fish and Ngapi salad: This eating custom can be found in southern Myanmar. Local people make Ngapi salad with Pa Ohn Yi or Lime. The taste of Ngapi salad is sour and spicy and the grilled stingray fish attracts you with the scent of fire. It is a perfect matching dish and should  be enjoyed in Myeik.

Grilled Stingray fish with Ngapi Salad ( Photo Credit : Sawadee)

ii. Grilled Lobster : Locals of Myeik are farming lobster as a local business. Many tours include catering with lobster as a service. So, you should experiment with grilled lobster in Myeik using a variety of cooking methods from various countries of Thai, Chinese and European.

Grilled lobster (Photo Credit : A Yein See Sar)

iii. Jellyfish Salad :Jellyfish (especially of Rhopilema esculentum) can be seen in the rainy season in the Rankine and Tanintharyi region. Residents marinated dead jellyfish in a salted 1O feet square pool. There are almost fifteen jellyfish in this pool. They eat jellyfish as a salad or with sauce. Before eating, you must put it in hot water or clean it with water to reduce saltiness. You can eat jellyfish salad as usual and can also eat it with rice.  

Jellyfish with Sauce (Photo Credit: Swal Mal)

iv. Horseshoe Crab's egg with Mango salad : People can eat only females of Horseshoe crab that have eggs which are more unique in Myeik. Because this kind of Horseshoes have no meat to eat and people can eat only eggs. Their blood is blue and it is very useful to test medicines for humans. Horseshoe crabs are also known as King Poe King Ma in Myeik. It is commonly eaten with a mango salad in the area. You will get the nutty taste of crab eggs and sourness of mango salad. You can get happy vibes by eating it. 

Horseshoe Crab's egg and Mango salad (Photo Credit : Shwe Yar Su)

These are 4 unique dishes which are available in Myeik. You can explore other remaining seafood dishes which are prawns, squid, octopus and oysters dishes. I will mention some popular seafood restaurants in Myeik. And, you can go to look at restaurants in the night market on strand road and Myeik shopping centre. These are four restaurants which have good services and fair prices: White Pearl Restaurant, Sawadee Restaurant, Shwe Yar Su Restaurant and Pin Lal May Restaurant. 

Myeik is a wonderful location to explore natural Islands and delicious Cuisine. If you go to Myeik as a holiday trip, don't forget to try traditional foods and delectable seafood. On your Myeik itinerary, let's discover local food from the Mergui Archipelago.

You can watch the food tour of Myeik in the video here

August 29, 2022