How to make Burmese fritters to garnish mohinga (peh gyaw)

As promised, here’s a quick recipe for making the crispy fritters for garnishing the traditional mohinga. Without these (or some other similar fritter) the dish is not considered complete. If necessary buy some noodles from a Chinese Grocery store and deep fry so they puff up. This will make an absolutely acceptable alternative. But whatever you do, do not serve the dish to your guests without the crunch element these provide. It would be a crime not to!

peh gyaw2
A platter of peh gyaw (crispy yellow split pea fritters)

It’s a bit tricky frying these as you need the batter mixture to enter the hot oil quickly, in a thin layer. Achieving the correct hand movement, especially if you do not know what it is you are trying to achieve, can be a challenge. This was true for me the first time mum showed me how it should be done, to ensure a thin crisp fritter. (the reason it is tricky is because the batter is so thin).

The technique: Scoop out some mixture into a teacup saucer. Slowly, swiftly at a steady rhythm, drop and drag the contents of the saucer into the hot oil. The wrist gesture you are trying to achieve is that of a door-person welcoming you in to their place (whatever that place might be!)

Practice with small batches first. Like all deep frying or any frying for that matter, the first few are always not quite right. But don’t give up as even though they may not look great, they will still be tasty. Once cooled, they will keep for some time in an airtight container. They are delicious as a snack with a sharp, chilli spicy dip. (I like fish sauce and lemon/lime juice, 1:2 ratio, fresh chopped chillies, a grating each, of a small garlic clove and equal amount ginger)

This recipe will give you a large platter full as in the photo above. Enough to feed 6 easily as garnish or snacks.

Ingredients;

  • 55 gms dried yellow split pea
  • 50 gms self raising flour
  • 50 gms glutinous rice flour
  • 25 gms fine semolina flour
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 350 ml cooking oil (sunflower, vegetable, etc)

Method;

  1. First soak peas in water overnight with 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate soda. Drain before cooking.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, including the peas.
  3. Heat the cooking oil for frying in a wide saucepan, where the mixture can spread sufficiently. A 30 cm frying pan is sufficient.
  4. Scoop some of the mixture into a teacup saucer. Drop into the hot oil, as per the above technique.
  5. Drain on kitchen paper.

Dah beh! 🙂 ….that’s it!

30 second video – See how it’s done here

A complete meal (below)

mohinga3 - Edited.jpg
Mohinga -main picture, garlic oil on the left, peh gyaw in the middle, roasted chilli flakes

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