Shan Noodles: Barefoot In The Kitchen (From Myanmar)

We ate a good deal of Shan noodles en route to and while we were staying at Inle Lake in Myanmar. It’s a popular dish, not only among the locals in the Land of the Golden Pagodas. You can also find variants of this dish all over Southeast Asia. Shan noodles are easy to make and can be prepared in half an hour.


  • 680g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-2cm cubes
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1⁄2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • 11⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 450ml canola oil
  • 350g yellow onion, minced
  • 40g garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 280-300g large rice noodles
  • 30g peanuts
  • 4 green onions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
  • 90g pickled mustard greens

How to make it

1. In a bowl, mix the chicken with the paprika, cayenne, turmeric, five-spice powder, salt and chili flakes, with your hands. Let it marinate at room temperature and set aside.

2. In a heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened (about 4 minutes).

3. Stir in the garlic; lower to a medium heat and cook for 3 more minutes.

4. Add the chicken and cook, stirring often, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce looks rich and deeply red (about 7 minutes). Lower the heat if the bottom starts to darken too much.

5. Turn off the heat and stir in the soy sauce. Taste, adding more soy sauce or salt if needed (the sauce should taste assertive, because the noodles are unseasoned).

6. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring often with chopsticks to prevent sticking (9 to 12 minutes, depending on how thick the noodles are). If the pot starts to boil over, add a cup of cold water.

7. Drain in a colander and rinse briefly under cool running water. Give the colander a shake to remove excess water.

8. Transfer the noodles to a warmed serving bowl. Pour the chicken and all the sauce on top, and sprinkle with peanuts and green onions.

9. Serve pickled mustard greens alongside.

Click here to find out more about Gisele’s trip to Myanmar and everything it entailed – including her stop at Hla Day.