Burmese Daikon Soup with Tamarind

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve shared any recipes and tips here on this blog.  In the past few months, we’ve been searching for a new place to live, then we moved, now we are trying to set-up our place to have students for tutoring English and host family visits. You can read more about the happenings over at www.GotPassport.org.

The great thing is I have a kitchen. .Well, Okay, let’s just say more space to cook.  We supplied our own fridge, gas cooktop, gas tank, storage space etc to make it more functioning like a kitchen.

So, for our first meal, one of the dishes I cooked was a sour daikon soup with tamarind.  Ummm and it was cooked a while back, but I just haven’t had the time to post it here. Anyhow, my daughter loves these kinds of soups and she eats well when I cook them.

I bought a couple of daikons from the Haw Market or as we affectionately call it “the Friday Morning Market” for less than 50cents.

Before we move on to the ingredients, may I remind you that I do not use exact ingredients. I cook by intuition and so a lot of the measurements of the  ingredients you see here are estimated.


  • Daikons 2 medium-sized
  • One medium-sized onion, diced
  • A few cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 TSP of oil
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 2-3 medium-sized tomatoes, or 1 large one, or several cherry tomatoes (sliced) (you can be generous with the amount of tomatoes you use.  It’s a personal preference).
  • Tamarind puree or paste to taste
  • 3 Japanese green onions
  • Fish sauce to taste (leave this out and you have a veggie dish)
  • Salt to taste

  • Wash and peel the daikon like you would peel carrots.
  • Slice them like so in the picture below.  How thin you slice them will determine how long you need to cook the soup.
  • In a pot, add the daikon, onion, garlic, oil, salt, turmeric, and wedged tomatoes. It might look something like this.
  • Mix the ingredients together before heating the pot.
  • Place on low heat to start cooking and stir gently to prevent burning.
  • Add either water, veggie broth or chicken broth to the pot

  • Let it cooked for about 20 minutes with the pot covered.
  • Check the tenderness of the daikon to see if it is ready.
  • Add tamarind puree to the soup.
  • Depending on your preference, add more salt or fish sauce or tamarind to taste.
  • To help reduce the tartness in the tamarind, you can add a tiny bit of cane sugar or palm sugar though this is not the practice in Burmese cooking.
  • Now add sliced Japanese leeks to the top for added flavor and you’re ready to serve

Here’s a package of Japanese Leeks I bought in Chiang Mai for 20b = 67cents.

There you have it.  This dish is super easy to make.  And the beauty of it all is that you can replace any veggie you have like cabbage, spinach, squash to make a sour soup with choice of your veggies. We usually have a soup like this in every meal with either a meat or tofu dish and a stir fried veggie dish plus ngapeat yay (fish paste sauce with dry chili peppers) and green veggies like cucumber, small eggplants, cilantro, garlic, chili peppers, etc.

Many people in the rural areas, usually very poor, will eat a meal similar to what I described above but often without the meat unless they have their own small animal farm.The ngapeat yay is the substitute to the meat.  Just a few weeks ago, we made an offering to Burmese student monks at Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai, and they told us they can make a meal out of Ngapeat yay and fresh veggies.

I hope to post more Burmese recipes here soon as I have cooked different dishes in my little kitchen in Chiang Mai.

Enjoy  it. Let me know if you have any questions or dishes you are curious about making. Come join me on my Chili~Lime~Garlic Facebook page if you have not already.

Happy New Year everyone. Here’s to eating well and healthy in 2012.




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