Myanmar's Inle Lake Fish Curry

Mar 2014

What better way to learn about a country’s food and culture than to take a cooking class? Meatless Monday today is from Myanmar’s Inle Lake Fish Curry.

Myanmar fish curry meatless monday

I will be taking you all on tour of Inle Lake in the near future, but for now you’ll have to believe me when I say this meal embodies all that farm to table has to offer.  It’s really the way the people eat here, second nature.  Fish caught right in the lake, tomatoes grown on the  lake, unlike any farming methods I’ve have seen before and fresh onions and scallions from a farm just over on shore.

cooking class myanmar burma inle lake


  • Whole fish filet-skin and head on
  • 4″ chunk of ginger
  • 2 T. Asian chili sauce
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. dried vegetable broth powder (they used chicken-the end result tasted the same)
  • 3 scallions
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1″ piece tumeric
  • 1 small red onion
  • peanut oil

The sauce was a tomato sauce from my perspective, but this is what they called it.  Perhaps one of those Lost in Translation moments. Make it first by chopping the tomatoes and onion.  Pound 2″ piece of the ginger, the and garlic.  Sauté the spices in peanut oil and add together with the tomatoes/onion-cook for 1/2 hour.

Myanmar fish curry meatless monday

For the fish, pound the remaining 2″ of ginger and pour the juice over the inside of your filet.  Massage into the fish {they do this to remove the fishy taste}.

Meatless Monday Myanmar fish curry

Pound the garlic and mix with 1/2 t. salt, 2 T. chili sauce and vegetable broth powder. Massage into the flesh of the fish. Chop scallions, mix with 1/2 t. pepper and 1/2 c. of the tomato sauce and stuff the fish with the mixture. Fold fish in half, and gently fry in the peanut oil {covering the fish, they used a wok and holding it down with a metal spatula so it stays folded}.

Myanmar inle lake fish curry

Top with tomato sauce and serve over rice.

If you liked this post, consider: 1) Subscribing to Green With Renvy 2) becoming a fan on Facebook, 3) Checking out my Wanderlists on AFAR or 4) following me on Pinterest. Enjoy this post? Please show the love by sharing it! xoxo


  1. susan moore says:

    I think I would love this meal! Thanks for the recipe. I find it fascinating that the tomatoes are grown on the lake, I have never heard of this method before. I think I need a visit to Myanmar’s Inle Lake for a fish curry cooking class, I am intrigued.

  2. Debi Lander says:

    Looks tasty but I never like looking at a fish head on my plate!

  3. We are so hoping to get to Myanmar and Inle Lake this winter! Now I know what to eat, thanks!

    • alison says:

      It was wonderful Betsy. I hope you can get there. Inle Lake especially is having a lot of hotel build up and I think will change rapidly. All life takes place on the lake, and there is no way the environment will be able to handle what they have proposed. Sooner-rather then later!

  4. Anita says:

    Hungry when I am reading, and so fond of Cambodian food…so am pretty sure I’ll like what we find in Myanmar too! Thanks for giving me a little foretaste of what to expect when we eventually make it to Inle Lake.

  5. I’d love to visit Myanmar’s Inle Lake and am fascinated by this ginger-laced fish recipe! It sounds delicious and the technique is quite different from anything I usually do – worth a try in the kitchen.

  6. Looks easy but never tastes as good back at home. Love doing cooking classes when we travel

    • alison says:

      I got the taste pretty close Paula, and it was pretty easy. I’m with you on the cooking classes when traveling. It’s a great way to get the feel of the culture.

  7. I like the way you illustrated and explained how to make Myanmar’s Inle Lake Fish Curry even though I am not a kitchen person! 🙂

  8. Your recipe for Myanmar’s Inle Lake Fish Curry looks delicious, and not too hard to make. I think I’ll give it a try.

    • alison says:

      It was very tasty Carole and inspired me to try a whole fish when I got home, something I had never done before. Let me know how you make out.

  9. I have two unfortunate problems with the recipe for Inle Lake Fish Curry. #1: I can’t eat spicy curry and #2) as you might recall from our visit to Spain, I don’t do heads and tails. 😉 I’ve never done a cooking class during my travels. I probably should give it a try. It’s a way to experience the culture that just doesn’t quite make it to a restaurant dining room.

    • alison says:

      The sauce really wasn’t that spicy Suzanne, and get around the heads and tails issue by just using fillets like my friend Jane did. She said it was yummy.(and she never missed the head and tail : )