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MEE-SHAY: Yummy Noodles With Meat-Based Sauces

Meeshay is a traditional dish originating from the Southeast Asian country, Myanmar, also known as Burma. It is made of rice noodles with a meat-based sauce (pork or chicken).

It is mainly served for breakfast or brunch. Many people in Myanmar’s big cities and towns use it as a light lunch alternative as well.

Ingredients such as crispy fried garlic, freshly chopped green onion, soya bean sauce, chili oil, Mohnyin chin – a Shan ethnic’s pickles made of mustard leave and some other vegetables like carrots, radish and some local greens. A clear chicken or pork broth is a part in the preparation of this dish. 

Meeshay originated in China and became a specialty of the Shan ethnic people of Myanmar’s eastern region, where it is bordering with China. Although it is mostly associated with the Shan people, many other regional varieties are made in the country.  

Here is an interesting video that shows a mobile street vendor serving Mee-Shay. They are our summer favorite friends whom we stop them whenever they walk in our residential area in Mandalay. Our Grandma knows how to cheer us during our summer vacation, in addition to her own various treats for us. 

Varieties of Mee-Shay

Mandalay Meeshay

Mandalay is the second-largest city and the former royal capital of Burma located in the center of the country.

Mandalay Meeshay, as the name suggests, is closely associated with the Mandalay region and with a rich Shan ethnic cultural influence.

This noodle meal features a thicker and oilier meat sauce than other varieties of Meeshay. Thicker rice jelly is also used. With a dressing of fried peanut oil, chili oil, fermented tofu and Mohnyin-chin. It is garnished with bean sprouts, fried batter, crushed garlic, coriander, etc. Crispy fried pork skin is also a complement.

There are various distinct varieties of Meeshay, but the Mandalay mee shay is the most popular, as it is more elaborate than other regional variants of Meeshay.

Mogok Meeshay

The cuisine originated in Shan State, with Mogok’s tangy version being a famous variant of Meeshay in the country. Shan Meeshay has added its touch to the original Meeshay recipe throughout the years, spicing up the noodles with a few more spices than other variants of this food.

Myay-oh Meeshay

This version of Meeshay is cooked and served in a clay pot. Its name “myah-oh” literally means clay pot. This dish consists of a large portion of vegetable as well a sizable serving of tangy soup.

Although there are different yummy noodle dishes in Myanmar, some of them have found a home in Myanmar  with touches of difference from regional variants. This staple of Myanmar’s cuisine crosses ethnic borders with its rich history, diversity, and of course, good taste.