London-based sibling duo Amy and Emily Chung have been blazing a trail on the London supper club circuit since 2013. Designed to celebrate the home-cooked Burmese food they grew up with, their supper clubs have attracted the attention (and rapturous praise) of food critics including Grace Dent, who has described their cooking as "joyous". Did we mention that both sisters are also full-time doctors? Yeah, they're fairly awe-inspiring. But the best part about the brand new The Rangoon Sisters Cookbook is that their straightforward, authentic recipes are totally accessible, whether you're a confident chef or a total novice. The flavour-focussed recipes are designed with home cooks in mind, and include such gems as Stuffed Aubergine Curry, Coconut Chicken Noodles, and Mango and Lime Cheesecake. For those new to Burmese cuisine, The Rangoon Sisters Cookbook offers a comprehensive, straightforward, and very fun introduction.
Here at The Happy Foodie we've been itching to get our hands on The Rangoon Sisters Cookbook for months, so when our copies arrived we got cooking straight away. Read on to see the results of our first foray into this wonderfully flavourful cookbook . . .
Who: Claire Daverley, Marketing Manager, Page Turners
What I made: Mohinga (Aromatic Fish Noodle Soup)
What I thought: I couldn't turn to a Burmese cookbook and not attempt their national dish, mohinga. A fish noodle soup usually eaten at breakfast, we made it for a Saturday night dinner, swapping catfish for sardines, because even the substituted pilchards proved quite hard to find. It was a quick and simple meal to prep, and whilst the sauce is bubbling away you can cook the noodles and the egg in parallel and then leave them to cool, so there's no pressure when it comes to timings. The addition of the lime and chilli gave the mild flavours a real zing and a kick, and the soft vermicelli swimming in the golden fish sauce made for a warming, wholesome meal that felt like a hug from Burma. The recipe leaves you with hugely generous portions - it says it serves 4-6, but I'd say it serves seven quite comfortably. With runny, oozing eggs, a scattering of green coriander and the warmth from the ginger and lemongrass, it's a delicious dish we won't forget in a hurry.
Who: Alice King, Publicity Officer
What I made: Thayet thee ohn thee mont (Mango, Lime and Coconut Meringues)
What I thought: This recipe was the perfect summer sweet treat. You can make the meringues and lime curd the night before which means that assembly is really quick. The lime curd adds a really nice sharpness which makes the whole pudding feel really light and not too sweet. A perfect recipe to impress your family or housemates, without being too complicated!
Who: Claire Scott, Head of Publicity and Communications, Ebury Publishing
What I made: Kyet thar thoke (Spiced Chicken Salad)
What I thought: This recipe was delicious and very easy to make. It had a lovely fresh flavour and my daughter thought it tasted healthy (in a good way). Full confession I didn’t read the recipe properly and fried all my shallots so next time I make it it will taste even fresher!
Who: Morgana Chess, Campaigns Assistant, Ebury Publishing
What I made: Samusa (Potato and Onion Samosas)
What I thought: I was a bit daunted at first but this recipe was a lot simpler than I thought it would be! The samosas were deliciously crunchy and spicy (although the spice levels can be adjusted for your palette), and they were very fun to make! They also freeze well, so can be whipped out as a side dish to jazz up a weekday meal.
Who: Abby Watson, Marketing Manager, Ebury Publishing
What I made: Bazun hin (Prawn Curry)
What I thought: This recipe was super simple to make and it tasted amazing – so good in fact that I made it twice in one week. It’s a really quick dish to prepare so it’s perfect for a quick and effortless dinner after work.
Who: Jessica Lockyer-Palmer, Marketing Manager, The Happy Foodie
What I made: Danbauk (Burmese Chicken Biryani)
What I thought: I’m somewhat ashamed to confess that, despite ordering it on a menu whenever I can, I’ve never made a biryani myself before. When I saw the Burmese chicken biryani in The Rangoon Sisters Cookbook, promising fluffy rice dotted with cubes of butter, caramelised onion, and strands of saffron and topped with tender chicken legs poached in a rich curry sauce layered with aromatics, I knew it was time. I’m not going to pretend this isn’t a recipe that requires a little more commitment than a quick midweek dish, but given that it delivers on every single one of these promises, you can rest assured that it is totally worth it. Make it the centrepiece of your meal the next time you’ve got guests and bask in their praise for this accomplished plate of food.
Who: Clara – Senior Data and Strategy Manager
What I made: Ohn no kauk swe (Coconut Chicken Noodles)
What I thought: That recipe was an absolute joy! It didn’t take too much effort to get such a hearty, generous broth and the crispy fried noodles were a delightful surprise. I loved that guests can add what they want to their bowl, so many textures and flavours to play with!