Restaurant: Donut Delight
City: Union City, CA
From the outside, Donut Delight sounds like an ordinary donut shop. However, once you step inside you notice they have dim sum in addition to donuts and pastries! But wait, there’s something else! On Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 3pm, they have a Burmese menu available for dine-in and take-out!
There are 15 items on the menu, which took me forever to decide from…so I asked for recommendations. The lady behind the counter highly recommended the coconut noodle soup, which is an off-the-menu item.
The coconut noodle soup had round rice stick noodles, Chinese donut (youtiao), chicken, fried squash, onion, and cilantro.
This dish is similar to khao poon, a Lao coconut noodle soup. The difference is that the Burmese version has a stronger coconut flavor and is on the very mild spiciness side. There were spices available on the table, however, if you wanted to make your noodle soup spicier.
Here’s some info about the dish, from Wikipedia:
Ohn no khao swè (also spelled ohn no khauk swe, on no khauk swe, ohn no khauk sway, ohn no khau sway, ohn no khau swe) is a Burmese dish consisting of wheat noodles in a curried chicken and coconut milk broth. The dish is often garnished with crisp fried bean fritters, sliced raw onions, chillies, crisp noodles, and slices of hard-boiled egg, and zested with lime or lemon juice and fish sauce.
And lots of interesting background info, from Serious Eats:
The cooking tradition of Myanmar reflects its geographical location: poised between India to the west and Thailand to the east, China looms in the northwest region. Burmese cuisine reflects the influence of its neighbors, giving new meaning to the term “Asian fusion.” Featured this week: Burmese Chicken-Coconut Soup, simmered with caramelized onions and plenty of turmeric and paprika. Poured over a bed of noodles, it’s just as soothing but far more exciting than your average chicken noodle soup.
Called “Ohn-no-khakswe,” the flavors of this Burmese Chicken-Coconut Soup speak profoundly of its culinary tradition. The use of an onion and ginger purée in the soup, as well as the doses of turmeric and chickpea flour, is a nod to India. The presence of coconut milk reveals its commonalities with Thai cuisine. Stir-frying the segments of chicken before stewing is a technique associated with wok cookery. Even the garnish of scallions on top, as the Chinese would do, seems significant. It may just be the case that fusion among geographically similar countries works more seamlessly than that among disparate ones. Certainly, the ingredients in Burmese dishes reflect the organic nature of recipes that have developed over decades, or even centuries of cross-cultural exchange.
Instead of cream, the primary thickening agent in the broth is a few spoonfuls of chickpea and fava flour. Made from ground-up chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and fava beans, the flour adds a distinctively beany depth in the resulting soup. Onion, ginger, and garlic are pureed in a blender until perfectly smooth, then added to the liquid for additional body.
And some info about the name of the dish, from meemalee:
Arguably the most famous Burmese dish is one called ohn-no khao swè – Coconut Chicken Noodles.
Outside of Burma, ohn-no khao swè is also known as khao sway, khauk swe, khaot swe and my absolute favourite, cow suey. That’s what happens when you try to transliterate a non-Roman language like Burmese. “Ohn-No Khao Swè” literally means “Coconut Milk Noodles” (and then you get into all kinds of murky cultural metonymy, as “No” not only means “milk” but also “breast” in Burmese), but the protein which is generally used is chicken, hence my paraphrase of Coconut Chicken Noodles.
“Ohn-No Khao Swè” literally means “Coconut Milk Noodles” (and then you get into all kinds of murky cultural metonymy, as “No” not only means “milk” but also “breast” in Burmese), but the protein which is generally used is chicken, hence my paraphrase of Coconut Chicken Noodles.
This is a wonderfully subtle, lightly curried dish, vaguely like laksa but comforting and flavoursome without whacking you in the face. Of course, you can also adjust the seasoning to taste – adding more fish sauce, squeezing more lime or sprinkling more chilli at the table.