Countries with the Most Similar Food to Myanmar

Country Food Similarity Index - Map of Countries with similar food to Myanmar

The Country Food Similarity Index is a statistically-based attempt to quantify how similar the food in one country is relative to another. By comparing the weight of raw food ingredients used in each country, a score is assigned that reflects the degree of similarity between the respective countries. The methodology is exactly the same for each country studied. 

The Most Similar Cuisines to Burmese Food

Myanmar, a country on the border between Southeast Asian and the Indian Subcontinent, boasts a diverse and flavorful culinary tradition that reflects its geographical location and historical influences. Rice is the most common ingredient in the cuisines of the five countries with the most similar food to Myanmar. These countries all have tropical climates. With the exception of Laos, they all have an abundant amount of coastline.

  1. Vietnam and Myanmar are both well-known for their use of fish sauce. They also use a lot of fresh herbs and vegetables in their dishes. One of the most famous Burmese dishes is Mohinga, a rice noodle and fish soup that is similar to the Vietnamese soup called Bun Ca. Both dishes are made with a combination of fish, fresh herbs, and spices. However, Burmese typically eat more freshwater fish and less pork than Vietnamese.
  2. Sri Lanka and Myanmar both predominately Buddhist countries that border the Indian Ocean. Coconut plays a significant role in the culinary traditions of both countries. Coconut milk is used to create rich and creamy curries, sauces, and stews in these nations. They also combine spices and herbs to create flavorful and aromatic curries.
  3. Thailand is on Myanmar’s Southeastern border. Many typical Burmese dishes are akin to Thai dishes. One example is Ohn no khao swè, a coconut milk-based chicken curry served with noodles. It is similar to many Thai curries. Lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, lime, and fish sauce are frequently used in both countries.
  4. Laos is landlocked, so the country relies on food from the ocean less than Myanmar. However, freshwater fish is the most commonly eaten meat in both countries. Their cuisines have many other similarities as well. Both eat sticky rice and an assortment of fermented ingredients.
  5. Bangladesh is located to the west of Myanmar. Both countries were once part of British India. Their people tend to eat a lot of rice and fish. Additionally, their cuisines feature curries with shrimp and vegetables, often seasoned with spices such as turmeric, ginger, and garlic. They also have similar sweets. Laddoo and kheer originated in India, but they are now popular in both Myanmar and Bangladesh as well.

Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to Myanmar

The Least Similar Cuisines to Burmese Food

The five countries with the least similar food to Myanmar have much drier climates. Four of the five are mostly desert, so they are less densely forested. As a result, the agriculture in these countries is significantly different. Their diets tend to be based on nomadic herding.

  1. Syria is an Arabic-speaking that borders the Mediterranean Sea. Syrians tend to eat a lot of oranges, lemons, watermelons, and apples, while Burmese tend to eat more coconuts and bananas. Furthermore, bread is a much bigger part of Syrian cuisine.
  2. Uzbekistan is a double-landlocked country in Central Asia. It is another predominately Muslim country in Asia on this list. Uzbekistan tends to eat more beef and lamb than Myanmar. It also consumes more grapes and apples.
  3. Tunisia is an African country that borders the Mediterranean Sea. The country’s traditional cuisine is characterized by the use of spices such as cumin, coriander, and harissa (a chili paste), along with fresh herbs like mint and parsley.
  4. South Sudan is another African country on this list. Cassava and sorghum are the staple foods in South Sudan. The country also eats relatively little meat compared to Myanmar. South Sudanese cuisine tends to be more rustic and hearty, while Burmese cuisine is known for its delicate use of fresh herbs, spices, and vegetables.
  5. Mongolia and Myanmar have a few aspects in common. Most of their people have East Asian ancestry. Furthermore, Buddhism is the most prominent religion in both countries. However, their diet could not be more different. Wheat, not rice is the basis of their staple foods. Mongolians also eat far more meat and dairy products than Burmese people.

Related: The 10 Least Similar Countries to Myanmar

Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories

Myanmar’s Most Common Food Ingredients

Protein: Freshwater Fish, Chicken
Fruit: Coconut, Banana
Vegetable: Onion, Chick Pea
Starch: Rice, Wheat

Primarily based on 2020 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.

Leave a Reply