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Myanmar: Pennyworts Cooking Class

Who wants to learn how to make Tea Leaf Salad? Me, please! Sign me up! Northern Myanmar’s signature dish mixed with so many flavors; you’d think this simple dish took all day to make. Coming to Myanmar, I knew I wanted to take a class. I buffered in extra time in Bagan, so I could learn how to make Tea Leaf Salad and other Burmese classics.


They're only a couple classes that teach classes. I went with Penny Worts. May is the owner and met my friend near the market and me to start our day. What I loved is she asked us what we’d like to make. She planned salad and curry but asked us what kind we wanted to learn. Of course, I said Tea Leaf then decided to learn a chicken curry. We walked through the market, and she talked about the ingredients we would be using. After shopping, we went to a proper tea shop for a drink then headed back to her house to learn how to cook Burmese.


May set-up the kitchen while we started peeling and chopping the vegetables. The agenda was three salads and two curries.

Tea Leaf Salad – Using real tea leaves and lots of crunchy nuts Cucumber Salad – A simple yet refreshing salad Tamarind Salad – My second favorite salad Chicken Curry – Slow-cooked in a hearty and savory sauce Chickpea Tofu Curry – An amazing tofu in a thick tomato curry sauce

All the dishes were simple to make. The salads use many ingredients when mixed give them the complex flavors that burst in your mouth with each bite.

Who knew there was such a thing as chickpea tofu? I didn’t, and it’s my new favorite tofu. I won’t be going back to soybean tofu anytime soon!

All the cooking was done on a clay-cooking stove heated by wood. I’ve only seen this type of cooking in Laos and really like this style.

After we were done making everything, May put a spread out on the table of all the things we cooked along with a few other dishes her family prepared for us. It was so much food and the best meal I had in Myanmar!


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