In January 2015, I traveled to Myanmar to research its food and culture. It was my first time in the country formerly called Burma, and I was there with a group of people affiliated with Burma Superstar, San Francisco Bay Area's popular Burmese restaurant group. The trip kicked off a year spent interviewing home cooks cooks from Myanmar and employees of Burma Superstar, and reading about the incredibly complex history of a country that had been walled off for half a century.
The cookbook is a celebration of hope in Myanmar but also a tribute to the blend of Chinese-Burmese dishes that have made Burma Superstar such a beloved San Francisco institution.
Listen to our interview on Splendid Table and read about tea leaf salad here
Listen to my conversation with Steve Boss of KRUU here
See me demo how to make a weeknight Burmese-style stir-fry with Kat Sacks of Epicurious here
“Finally! In this beautiful book, Desmond Tan and Kate Leahy bring one of my favorite Bay Area restaurants, Burma Superstar, to the world. From the Tea Leaf Salad to Chicken Coconut Curry, the book demystifies the ingredients and cooking techniques of Myanmar, opening up the restaurant’s incredible flavors for everyone to enjoy. This is a book to read from cover to cover, and to cook from forever.”
—Amanda Haas, author of The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: The Delicious Way to Reduce Inflammation and Stay Healthy
"Informative recipes and concise historical background set an educational yet approachable tone, while the occasional misty mountain vistas or bustling Burmese city street scenes (captured by John Lee) provide a reason to slow down and consider Burmese culture as a whole. Already, I'm eyeing the classic mohinga, a noodle soup thickened with toasted ground rice and mashed catfish, seasoned with ginger and lemongrass."
—Alex Testere, Saveur
"The rare restaurant edition you’ll actually want to cook from, starting with the tea-leaf salad."
—"This Season's Best Cookbooks", Bon Appetit
“The eponymous San Francisco restaurant is making quality Burmese food even more accessible than before with this insightful, thorough cookbook. Take mohinga, for example, the breakfast noodle soup you've probably never heard of that's considered Burma's national dish. And in between coconut chicken curry and tea leaf salad, you can read all about Myanmar's struggle for democracy, as well as the people and ingredients that make up this rich culture.”
—"Best New Cookbooks," Tasting Table
"Is Burmese the new Thai food? Plenty of San Franciscans (disciples of the city’s beloved Burma Superstar restaurant) would say yes. The hot spot’s first cookbook illuminates the spicy, savory food of Myanmar, from chili lamb to pork and pumpkin stew to the popular tea leaf salad."
—Rebecca Shapiro, PureWow